The eight-match spring season of Florida Gators soccer is finally here. The Gators will host the Cougars of Charleston at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The match is set for Saturday at 11 a.m.
Originally, Florida was scheduled to take on FAU on Friday. This match was postponed due to a lack of available players within the FAU soccer program. Luckily, Florida picked up a new opponent within a day.
This spring season is significant too because Head Coach Becky Burleigh announced that she is retiring after the season. 26 seasons at Florida, Burleigh accomplished so much:
- 22 NCAA Championships’ berths (1996-2001; 2003-2017; 2019)
- Two NCAA College Cup appearances (1998, 2001), winning NCAA title in 1998
- 14 SEC team titles (1996-2001; 2006-2010; 2012-13, 2015)
- 12 SEC Tournament titles (1996-01; 2004; 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015-16)
— Becky Burleigh (@BeckyBurleigh) January 30, 2021
Florida went 2-7-1 in the fall season. Their schedule consisted of only conference matchups. Florida’s two wins came against No. 15 Alabama early in the season and an SEC tournament win over Kentucky in overtime. The Gators in 2021 consists of 33 players, including 10 freshmen and two transfers.
The Gators top points scorer (three goals, three assists, nine points) from Fall 2020 is senior Parker Roberts. Florida is also returning their senior goalkeeper, Susi Espinoza. She is coming off a seven save match against Missouri in the SEC tournament, tying her collegiate high.
This is the first time Florida has faced the College of Charleston in soccer. The Cougars did not compete in the Fall season of 2020. Although, they did tally an 8-10 record in the 2019 season. Charleston planned to face Coastal Carolina this weekend, but that was rescheduled for Thursday, March 4.
The Gators will be without senior forward Deanne Rose for this match. She is competing for Canada’s Senior National Team in the SheBelieves Cup.