Gator Soccer Falls Short to Baylor in the 89th Minute

After splitting their first two games in the state of Florida, the Gators Soccer team traveled west to begin their stint in Texas. Thursday night, they took on Baylor in Austin. Although they kept on par with the Bears for most of the game, they ultimately fell short in the final minute.

A Quiet First Half

Both Florida and Baylor got off to slow starts. Neither team would score, but the Bears would outshoot the Gators 7-1. Junior goaltender Alexa Goldberg came out sharp in the first half, stopping all three shots on goal.

Although they ended the half tied, head coach Samantha Bohon had higher expectations for the Gators in the first half. “I was disappointed with the first half,” she said, “I think one of the frustrations was we felt that the game plan was pretty spot on.”

Both Teams Trade Blows in the Second Half

Both Florida and Baylor would step up the offense in the second. The Bears would get on the score sheet first. At 56:34 junior midfielder Ashely Merrill headed in a goal off a corner kick from senior Maddie Algya. Merrill’s goal would be her first as a Baylor Bear after transferring from Dallas Baptist University.

With under ten minutes to play in the game, the Gators struck back. At 80:38, senior Alivia Gonzalez scored off a rebound from Tessa Barton’s shot that hit the post.

The 89th Minute

The last minute of any sports game is always high pressure. It is home to some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows in sports history, depending on the fandom of the person.

On Thursday night, the Gators hoped to hold off the Bears in the last minute of the game to take the draw. However, just one play determined the fate of the game. Off a feed from sophomore forward Haven Terry, midfielder Gabby Mueller found the back of the net to secure the win for Baylor.

What’s Next for Gator Soccer?

Thursday night’s loss was a heart-breaker for this young Gator soccer squad. Although they find themselves at 1-2 this season, Florida still has a long season ahead to make up ground.

Florida’s next game will be against the talented Texas Longhorns on Sunday. “Texas is one of the most talented teams on paper in the country.” said Coach Bohon, “They have a lot of weapons and they’re well coached. So we’re certainly going to have a test ahead of us on Sunday.”

About Aileyahu Shanes

Journalism student at the University of Florida. Contributor for WRUF and WUFT. You can reach Aileyahu at a.markellshanes@ufl.edu or 786-316-5878.

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