The UT men’s soccer team is less than two weeks into the season but they have already showed drastic improvement from last year. After a somewhat disappointing 7-7-3 record last season, the team has won three of its first four games this season. These wins included a 5-2 victory over the eighth-ranked Clayton State Lakers.
Credit coach Adrian Bush for his work in the off-season bringing in some of the top junior college players in the country. Bush was able to sign Ricardo Cardoso, arguably the top junior college player in the country. Cardoso, who grew up in Coral Springs, led JP Taravella High School to a state championship before going on to play for Georgia Perimeter College. In two years with Georgia Perimeter, Cardoso recorded a school record 50 goals and led the team to a National Championship in his sophomore year.
It didn’t take Cardoso long to get adjusted to his new school. In his first game with the Spartans, he scored four goals against Clayton State.
“I definitely did not expect to score four goals,” said Cardoso. “Our team worked well together, and I am extremely proud of our effort.”
“I thought he was fantastic. That’s what we expect from him. He led junior college in scoring and he’s showing why. That’s what we brought him here to do,” commented coach Bush talking about Cardoso’s performance in the team’s first game.
Although Cardoso did not have a repeat performance in the team’s second game against Warner Southern, the rest of the team picked up the slack in defeating the Royals 3-2 in front on 250 fans at Pepin Stadium.
It was a team effort as UT battled back from a 2-1 halftime deficit to defeat Warner Southern. Gregg Emmerman scored the game-winning goal for UT with just 15 minutes left in the game.
“We did not play our best, but we came through when we needed to,” said Bush after the game. “I am extremely proud of our team.”
After their first blemish, a 3-1 loss against the University of West Florida, the Spartans rebounded to defeat Bethel College on Sunday, September 3, improving to 3-1 on the season. Tampa had many opportunities early, hitting the post twice until they finally struck for the first goal in the forty-second minute as