The Lady Gators kicked off their season with a 1-0 victory over Florida Atlantic University Friday and followed up that performance with a convincing 5-0 downing of Troy Sunday at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Five different Gators scored in Sunday’s contest, while the defense only allowed one shot on goal.
Four of the five goal scorers turned in their first Gator goal in Sunday’s win; Rose (10:29), Bennett (35:05), Roberts (46:49) and Sapone (85:24).
Big Holes to Fill
The Gators had eight seniors graduate last season, including the two time SEC Offensive Player of the Year in Savannah Jordan. The Gators are a young team with only five seniors.
Head Coach Becky Burleigh praises her younger players stepping up into new roles during an interview.
Burleigh also discusses the challenges of constant roster turnover for collegiate athletics. She compares the turnover of a college team to losing the top quarter of a company in corporate America. She uses the beginning of the season to focus on remolding the culture and establishing an identity.
Florida ranks No. 7 on the preseason United Soccer Coaches poll.
This marks the Gators’ 21st consecutive appearance in the coaches’ association preseason poll and the sixth straight year to open the season among the nation’s top 10. Florida faces four teams ranked in the USC preseason top 25. Three of the matches are at home with No. 2 Stanford (Aug. 25), No. 4 South Carolina (Oct. 26), and No. 15 Florida State (Sept. 8); the Gators travel to No. 10 Auburn for an Oct. 13 match up.
The Gators host Stanford on Friday, August 25th at 5 p.m. in a much anticipated match up of two of the USC’s preseason top 10 teams.
The game airs live on the SEC Network. Listeners can hear the match on 98.1 FM/85 AM WRUF.