The Florida Gator soccer team came out with a bang in their home match against Alabama on Thursday night. The Gators defeated the Crimson Tide 6-0 in front of a stadium full of Florida fans.
This win was a great way to bounce back after a disappointing loss to South Carolina last weekend. After going scoreless in a game that lasted 103 minutes, the Gators were on the attack offensively scoring six goals by six different players. Senior Meggie Dougherty Howard said after the game that this type of match will help propel them through the postseason.
The first goal was scored in the 14th minute of play by team-leading scorer Savannah Jordan for her 13th goal of the year. Mayra Pelayo passed the ball to Jordan as she slid in the box to tap the ball in to give the Gators an early lead. Jordan explained how the goal opened up the game the rest of the way.
Florida scored another goal in the first half when Dougherty Howard was given a free pass off of an Alabama penalty. She passed the ball in front of the net as Melanie Monteagudo ran in for the header to score her sixth goal of the season.
In the second half, the last four goals were scored within eight minutes of each other. Dougherty Howard got her sixth goal of the season from a penalty kick which gave the Gators a 3-0 lead. Then the offense became relentless. Senior Brooke Sharp scored her first goal of the season when Kit Loferski passed the ball to Jordan who ricocheted it off of Alabama’s goalkeeper, Kat Stratton. The ball went right to Sharp as she shot at the empty net for the Gators’ fourth goal of the match.
One minute later, Pamela Begic received a long pass from Julia Lester and scored 15 yards away from the goal after one touch. The final goal came from Loferski. Monteagudo had possession of the ball in the box and was tripped up, but there was no call. The ball went straight to Loferski as the freshman got her third goal of the season.
That was a busy four minutes! #Gators score three goals in less than four minutes – @BrookeSharp11 , Pamela Begic & @k_loferski #GoGators pic.twitter.com/CrrbBB1k9S
— Gators Soccer (@GatorsSoccer) October 21, 2016
Throughout the match, the Gators had possession of the ball and kept the Crimson Tide from having any opportunity to score. In fact, Alabama never took a shot the entire game. Gator coach Becky Burleigh was impressed with her defense’s performance after the game.
Florida is now 11-4 overall and 6-3 in SEC play. The win moves the Gators into fourth place in the SEC. Their next match will be Sunday against Mississippi State (6-10, 1-8 SEC). It will be the last regular season home game for Florida. Florida will host Senior Day where the eight seniors on the team will be honored before the game.
Game time will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.