The weather may have driven some away Friday night, but those who stuck around got to see a clinic put on by Brooke Sharp, Taylor Burke and the rest of Becky Burleigh’s Gator soccer team as it defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 3-0 in Gainesville Friday night.
Florida almost got on the board from the opening kick, in the first minute Savannah Jordan received a cross from Pamela Begic and tried to tuck it by Oklahoma goalkeeper Kassidie Stade but sent it right at her. Not 45 seconds later Taylor Burke was tested by Oklahoma but a diving effort from Burke sent the ball out of danger.
Florida drew first blood in the form of a header from midfielder Pamela Begic on a ball sent into the box from the left side by defender Lauren Silver. Stade was able to get a hand on it but the ball trickled past the line giving Florida a lead with 36 minutes to go in the opening stanza.
The remainder of the first half saw the Gators controlling much of the possession battle but unable to get on the board. Oklahoma had sporadic chances but all were turned away by Burke and the back line. Offensive opportunities were few and far between. Oklahoma won a pair of corner kicks with just under three minutes to go in the first half but were unable to generate any scoring with them.
In the second half, Savannah Jordan was left all alone in the attacking end with 40 minutes to go on a counter for Florida. However, her shot attempt went off the side of her foot leading to a save by Stade.
Oklahoma embarked on a three on two rush shortly after that, but a poor pass right to the Gator defense led to that chance being squandered.
The Gators extended their lead to 2-0 when the ball found an unmarked sophomore Lauren Smith just outside the box. She fired a shot that found the nylon, beating Stade to the far right.
Perhaps the goal of the night went to the Gators’ Brooke Sharp. With a bit under 20 minutes to go, the great-granddaughter of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi found the ball that Jordan lost trying to work her way through the box and curled it past the goalkeeper, finding the top left corner of the net to make it 3-0 Florida.
Next up for the 4-1 Gators is a matchup against Oklahoma State on Sunday at Pressly Stadium.