Two of the top three teams in the SEC face off Thursday night as the eighth ranked Florida Gators host the 17th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gators, Gamecocks, and Missouri Tigers are all tied for first in the SEC with a 5-2-1 league record.
The Gators last match was almost a week ago when they defeated Mississippi State 2-1 in Starkville. Florida’s goals came courtesy of Brooke Sharp and Meggie Doughtery Howard. It was Sharp’s ninth goal of the season, which is second highest on the team behind Savannah Jordan (14).
Jordan leads the SEC in goals scored with 14 which ranks her in the top ten in the nation in that category. Christen Westphal is atop the SEC as well; she has eight assists on the season which leads the league.
Despite coming off a win Florida head coach Becky Burleigh says the team has to remained focus on the next match.
“You really have to take them one game at a time despite how cliché as that might sound. The most important one is the next one and that’s South Carolina,” she said.
The Gamecocks are coming into this game on a two game losing streak. They fell to Mississippi 2-0 and then 2-1 in OT against Vandy. South Carolina started the season on a tear, winning nine of their first 10 with a tie. That streak included wins over two teams in the top 10. USC is led on offense by sophomore Savannah McCaskill who has nine goals on the season.
Last time these two teams met the Gamecocks came away with a 3-2 win in Columbia. They scored two first half goals and the Gators were never able to recover from the deficit. South Carolina won the meeting in 2013 as well; however Florida leads the all-time series 20-5-1.
Match time from James G Pressly Stadium is set for 7p.m. but you can catch coverage right here on ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM starting at 6:50 p.m.