A frustrating loss to the University of Central Florida in the home opener on Sunday brought the Gators losing streak up to four.
In 29 seasons before this one, head coach Becky Burleigh has only lost 42 games. She will look to return to her usual winning ways tonight.
The team has two chances to right the ship in the next four days, when Florida Gulf Coast and Miami visit. Burleigh said that the quick turnaround between games can be difficult:
FGCU on Thursday
The Gators take on an in-state competitor in FGCU tonight. Historically, Florida has dominated this matchup, taking five wins from five in regular season games against the Eagles.
Florida Gulf Coast enters the game with a 2-2 record. They shut out Northeastern in their last game, with senior forward Evdokia Popadinova netting one of her team’s two goals in the match.
Popdinova was the team’s top scorer last season and the 2018 Bulgarian footballer of the year. She was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list in the fall. The award is given to the most outstanding collegiate soccer player in the country.
Burleigh acknowledged that Gulf Coast will be a tough game. She had this to say about the Eagles:
Miami on Sunday
The Gators round out a three game home stand when they face the University of Miami on Sunday. The Gators own an all-time record of 7-2 against the Hurricanes.
UM is 2-1-1 on the year, with the draw coming in their last game against San Diego State despite putting up 19 shots.
The Hurricanes have two young, capable goalkeepers. Sophomore Tyler Speaks and 6’1″ freshman Melissa Dagenais have both been featured for Miami this season. In every game so far, the Hurricanes have subbed on whichever keeper did not start the match at halftime.
A big concern for Florida will be the fitness of top scorer Deanne Rose. After being named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week at the start of the season, she has been hindered by injury. After missing two straight games, Rose played 42 minutes in the loss to UCF. She is a driving force of the attack with her movement on and off the ball. The team has struggled offensively in her absence, only scoring once in the last three games.
Florida vs. FGCU will be on Thursday, September 12th at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Florida vs. Miami will be on Sunday, September 15th at 6:00 p.m. ET.