The Florida Gator soccer team (16-4-1) will play in the second round of the NCAA tournament Friday night against the Wisconsin Badgers.
Last weekend, the Gators defeated Florida Gulf Coast at home 3-0 in the opening round. All three goals were scored by different Gators in the second half. The scoreless tie was broken up in the 66th minute by senior Meggie Dougherty Howard. After that score, the Gators loosened up and scored their next two goals within 16 minutes of the first one. In the 77th minute, freshman Julia Lester scored her third goal of the season to put Florida even more at ease. The final goal was scored by senior Savannah Jordan with an assist from Mayra Pelayo. Head coach Becky Burleigh said her team does a good job of taking advantage of the offensive weapons that they have.
The Gators’ next opponent will be one of the six Big Ten teams that have made through to the second round of the playoffs, the Wisconsin Badgers (9-4-8). The Badgers beat Marquette at home in the first round last weekend 1-0. Their lone goal was scored by goal-leading scorer Rose Lavelle in the 30th minute.
Getting closer!!! Gators take on Wisconsin Friday night at 7p in NCAA 2nd round action. Come get your chomp on! pic.twitter.com/fSi5nPtVNK
— Becky Burleigh (@UFGatorSoccer) November 17, 2016
This season, Wisconsin leads the country with ten overtime matches, which gives them a lot of extra playing time experience. Their goalkeeper, Caitlyn Clem, has had nine shutouts this season and was named to the Big Ten third team.
This will be the first time Florida and Wisconsin will face each other. The Gators expect a different looking opponent than they’ve seen all season given the different style of play coming from the north. Florida’s Gabby Seiler said the team is excited for the opportunity to play a brand new opponent.
— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) November 13, 2016
Dizney Stadium will be busy this weekend
The Donald R. Dizney Stadium will feature three NCAA tournament matches this weekend. On Friday at 3 p.m., Auburn will face Connecticut. Then the Gators will take on Wisconsin in the night match starting at 7 p.m. The winners of these two matches will face each other at 2 p.m. on Sunday.