With a disappointing start to the season last weekend, the Florida Gator soccer team (0-1)will try to turn the page this weekend. The team lost to in-state foe Miami last week but will try to get a win Friday against North Carolina and Sunday against Duke. Florida head coach Becky Burleigh says the loss could help her team re-focus for the weekend.
The Gators come into this weekend without junior transfer forward Adriana Leon. She is competing in the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. But the Women’s World Cup may be an advantage for Florida. North Carolina has three of their players in the tournament. They include junior forwards Crystal Dunn and Kealia Ohai and freshman goalkeeper Bryane Hearberlin.
History is not on Florida’s side. In nine games against the Tar Heels, the Gators have never won at UNC. However, Burleigh says she has the formula to beat them.
And that’s not all. Regardless of today’s outcome, the team will have to stay focused as they face another North Carolina powerhouse in number two ranked Duke Sunday.
Florida hasn’t played Duke since 2010 where the two clubs tied 0-0 but Duke won in penalty kicks to advance past the regional round of the NCAA tournament. Burleigh expects a different outcome this time around but does understand the strengths last year’s NCAA runner-up.
Tonight’s game against UNC can be heard on ESPN Radio 850/900, 100.1 FM Ocala starting at 6:50pm and Sunday’s game can be heard starting at 12:50pm.