After an impressive opening weekend to the season, UF’s soccer team fell back down to Earth. The Gators struggled to put goals on the board this weekend, losing to both Ohio State and Oklahoma State by the score of 1-0.
The offensive struggles contrast the Gators first two games, in which they scored a total of six goals against FAU and Washington. With even tougher games on the horizon, head coach Becky Burleigh will have to unlock her team’s offensive firepower for the Gators to succeed in the upcoming weeks.
What Happened This Weekend?
In game one of the weekend against the Ohio State Buckeyes, UF’s struggles were definitely not due to a lack of opportunity. The Gators registered 13 shots during the match, four more than the Buckeyes had.
However, the Gators could not sneak the ball past the Buckeyes’ senior goalkeeper, Devin Kerr, who had four key saves over the course of the match. The Gators’ defense played well for most of the match, but a goal by OSU’s Kayla Fischer in the 56th minute was just enough for Ohio State to take down Florida.
The Gators’ second matchup of the weekend yielded the same result, this time on the road against a different OSU. Although battling into two overtimes, the Gators could not get the ball rolling on offense, losing to Oklahoma State University 1-0.
This time, UF did not have the same success getting shots off, totaling only 8 shots during the match. The winner for OSU came off a right-footed strike by Marlo Moeller in the 102nd minute, improving the Cowboys record to 3-0 while giving the Gators a 2-2 record on the season.
There is one main positive that can be taken from this game, however. UF goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese had six saves during the match, giving the Gators a chance until Moeller’s eventual goal.
Even after the tough weekend, Burleigh understands the importance of such a tough schedule. When asked about the tough road ahead, Burleigh had this to say:
What’s Ahead for Florida?
The Gators will have a few days off until they return back to the pitch.
After the break, UF will play the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins this Friday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville.