Sept. 4, 2010

Courtesy of USF

San Francisco, CA
– USF men's soccer opened the 2010 season with a flourish, upsetting No. 9 Northwestern 1-0 in the swirling fog Friday night at Negoesco Stadium. With the victory the Dons (1-0-0) collect their highest ranked triumph since downing No. 9 Cal 2-1 in 2007.

Freshman Tanner Smith made an instant impression in his first collegiate match scoring on a give and go play from senior forward Bryan Burke, unleashing a curling shot into the upper left corner from the top of the box in the 39th minute. The Alaskan finished with a pair of shots on the night – both on frame and nearly scored on his second attempt after the intermission.

"We asked the team for 90 minutes of hard work, competing as a team with good enthusiasm," USF head coach Erik Visser said. "We really looked to especially establish ourselves defensively and I think that's what the team did today. They played hard for 90 minutes. They competed hard. By defending well for 90 minutes, especially in the second half I think we wore them down and we were able to create some really good scoring opportunities. Tanner Smith scored a great first goal."

USF held a 12-10 shot advantage for the contest, 5-2 in the first half. The Wildcats had a commanding 9-4 lead in corner kicks and at one point in the second half attempted four in a 10 minute stretch. The Dons defense rose to the occasion and did not surrender.

Northwestern emerged from halftime with an offensive flurry and created opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the second period. The Dons regrouped and seized the initiative from there and created multiple legitimate scoring opportunities. Wildcat goalkeeper Jonathan Harris made several brilliant plays to stymie San Francisco.

"The second half we had some great opportunities to make it at least two or three to nothing, but they had a couple chances as well," Visser said. "Overall I'm very pleased. It was a very good start."

Burke and Smith led the Dons with a pair of shots apiece and eight Dons attempted one shot. Oliver Kupe and Piero Bellizzi each fired a pair of shots for the Wildcats.

Sophomore goalkeeper Brendan Roslund (1-0-0) collected the win with four saves in his fourth career shutout. Harris (0-1-0) suffered the loss and made four saves in his season debut.