Florida Gators soccer (0-3-1) hits the road Thursday night against in-state rival Florida State (4-0-0). The Gators will travel to Tallahassee to face the Seminoles, who are currently the top-ranked team in the country. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Seminole Soccer Complex.
The Gators are coming off two straight losses at home last week. Florida fell to UCF 2-0 in regulation and Miami 1-0 in overtime. The Gators have only scored two goals this season, both in second halves and coming from sixth-year senior Kit Loferski.
The Florida offense hasn’t quite found its rhythm, being out-shot by their opponents 49-56. Despite the losing record, the Gators have had several close, hard-fought games. Florida hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a match. Sophomore goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg is largely responsible for the Gators’ defensive success. Goldberg has recorded 22 saves, which is more than her previous four opponents combined.
Florida State remains undefeated and atop the standings two weeks into the 2021 season. Their most recent victory came on the road against Colorado, which also saw their first goal allowed of the season. The leading scorers thus far for the Seminoles are Gianna Mitchell and Beata Olsson, both having scored two goals. Olsson transferred to Florida State after playing for Florida in the spring 2021 season.
The Seminoles wrapped up the 2020-2021 season in the national championship game, losing to Santa Clara in penalty kicks. Several players from last season’s undefeated squad have returned, including fifth-year Gabby Carle, who recently won a gold medal as part of Team Canada at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The last contest between the rivals came in September 2019, as the Gators fell 2-1 to the Seminoles in Tallahassee. The two did meet in spring 2021 for an exhibition match that ended in a scoreless tie. The series between Florida and Florida State is tied 13-13.