Gators Soccer Falls to No. 5 Southern California

No. 5 Southern California delivered Florida’s first loss of the 2019 season, asserting a 3-1 win at the Banc of California Stadium on Thursday.

Match Rundown

Southern California struck first in the 30th minute from a free kick. Trojan’s Alea Hyatt lobbed the ball into the Gators’ box and Tara McKeown pushed the ball past Susi Espinoza after a series of rebounds.

Arlie Jones doubled the home team’s lead in the 36th minute by beating Espinoza to the near post.

However, Alex Stubblebine scored her first goal in orange and blue just before the culmination of the first half. Redshirt junior, Kit Loferski, laid the ball off to Stubblebine who skillfully set herself up taking on a USC defender to then fire a shot past USC’s goalkeeper from 22 yards out.

McKeown scored her brace in the 60th minute of the second half. Penelope Hocking struck a ball across the Gators’ box finding McKeown at the top of the 6-yard line who fired a shot at the top corner.

Banc of California Stadium

The matchup between the Gators and the Trojans was the first collegiate soccer contest at the Banc of California Stadium, home of the Los Angeles FC. The stadium opened in April of 2018 and is well-known the incredible atmosphere it offers during Major League Soccer fixtures.

photo retrieved from University of Southern California women’s soccer twitter account: @USC_WSoccer

The atmosphere during Thursday’s match obviously wasn’t as exhilarating as the ones depicted in the video above. Nevertheless, over 3,500 showed up and USC’s band section never missed a beat playing Trojan tunes all game long.




Coach Burleigh’s Approach

Coach Becky Burleigh has been in the program for 25 years now and she knows what these tough matchups early in the season mean to the team and the season ahead.

Florida still has things to work on despite starting its season in a flawless manner. A couple of those things, building play from the back and having more control.

What’s Next for Gators Soccer?

The Bruins are the Bayern Munich of the NCAA Championship winning just one out of five finals.

Nonetheless, the overall record between the Gators and the Bruins stands at 3-4-1 in favor of the UCLA program. Moreover, Florida was able to tie last season despite an abundance of injuries.

Like Florida, UCLA has a Canadian international player who brings that extra something to the team.

Florida will face No. 4 UCLA who just beat No. 1 FSU on Sunday at 8 p.m.

Au Playe

About Juan Aguerrevere

Figuring out a plan to make it big in the soccer scene in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. For now, I'm having a blast writing for ESPN Gainesville and learning a lot from managers and students around the workplace. I'm covering the TV beat for Gators Soccer. What a team! Follow me on twitter: @J_AguerrevereUF

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