Gators soccer has yet to add a win to its record.
After a scoreless regulation at Donald R. Dizney Stadium, Miami (2-1-0) clinched the win against Florida (0-3-1) Sunday with just seconds remaining in overtime. This was the second consecutive Sunday the Gators went to overtime after a 1-1 tie August 22 against Texas.
Several scoring opportunities opened for the Gators in the second half. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Nicole Vernis had an eight-yard shot in the 59th minute that was saved by the Hurricanes junior goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais. Junior midfielder Cameron Hall then came in hot 10 minutes later with two promising back-to-back shots. However, her first was blocked and the second was saved by Dagenais. The Gators were later awarded a free kick in the 86th minute, and junior forward Kouri Peace’s shot was tipped over the crossbar.
“Thought we were a little more aggressive in the second half, which helped create some of those chances,” UF head soccer coach Tony Amato said. “We were hoping by having a volume of chances that would lead to goals. That final decision at the top of the box, whether it is someone stepping through the ball on a shot or getting on the end of a cross or getting in position to deliver a quality cross – we didn’t find that key moment.”
In overtime, the match’s only goal was scored. Miami junior Taylor Shell hit a right-footed shot from the penalty spot with 19 seconds remaining in the extra minutes. Miami ended the game with nine shots and seven total saves, while Florida concluded with 14 shots and zero saves.
“We have to find a way to get a goal earlier in the game to switch things in our favor,” Amato said. “We weren’t able to do that. There was a chance or two that we could have done that, but we didn’t. As the game wore on, it was going to come down to one moment and they found a way to get the moment there at the end of the first overtime.”
Florida travels this weekend to face two in-state rivals. First, the Gators lace up their cleats Thursday to match up against number one Florida State at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Florida heads to Florida Gulf Coast for a 1 p.m. game. The team will need to focus on finding its offensive groove for any shot at adding a win to their record.