Florida soccer is looking for its first win in four games in Tallahassee. But, topping No. 3 Florida State will not be an easy feat.
Scouting the Opponent
The Seminoles (4-0-1) have yet to lose a game this season and the Gators’ (2-3-1) win percentage is below .500 for the first time since 2012.
Florida head soccer Coach Becky Burleigh knows that the stakes are high.
Last weekend, both teams met with USC and UCLA. Florida tied No. 7 UCLA in 2OT, but fell 3-0 to No. 4 Southern Cal. Florida State tied USC in 2OT, but routed UCLA 4-1.
The Gators have not had the easiest road during the past couple of weeks. The team has not put the ball in the goal in four matches. On the other hand, the Seminoles last four games have ended in two shutouts (3-0 over both Wisconsin and Middle Tennessee), the draw with the Trojans, and the win against the Bruins. (All of the Seminoles’ matches have ended in shutouts except against UCLA).
However, instead of being upset, Florida soccer players are using the challenges as motivation. Redshirt junior midfielder Parker Roberts says the team is taking the position they are in, in stride.
Last season, the Gators fell 2-0 to the Seminoles in Gainesville, but won the match two years prior. (The 2016 match was cancelled).
Both Burleigh and Roberts agreed that while offense is important, defense wins championships. So this week, instead of focusing on scoring goals, the Gators are looking to make bigger saves.
Senior goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese made a season-high eight saves against UCLA, but has made a whopping 23 through five games. This season, Marckese has allowed six goals. To compare, FSU goalkeeper Brooke Bollinger has made 10 saves and allowed one goal all season.
This in-state rivalry will take the field tomorrow in Tallahassee at 7 PM.