Alex Goldberg dives for the ball at the match against Tennessee on Sept. 16. The Gators lost 2-1. Photo from @GatorSoccer on Twitter.

Rebels Beat Gator Soccer 1-0 On The Road

The Florida Gators (2-7) packed up their stuff and hit the road for their first SEC soccer match away from home and went to Oxford, Mississippi on Thursday night against the Ole Miss Rebels (8-0-2). In series history against the Rebels, Florida had not won a game in Oxford since 2016. Florida could not change history and lost 1-0.

Tough first half

Unlike the Gators’ last game, Florida showed their dominance at the start of the contest.  A foul on Ole Miss turned over the ball for a Julianne Leskauskas free kick to give the Gators their first chance at scoring. However, the Rebels quickly cleared it out of scoring range. While the Gators controlled possession of the ball for the majority of the half, the Rebels made it hard for them to penetrate through the last line of defense.

Syd Kennedy made multiple fast breaks toward the goal giving Florida a chance to score, but they could not complete. It was not until eight minutes into the game that the Rebels obtained full possession of the ball and made their way down the field. At 36:41, Ole Miss took their back-to-back corner kicks and could not score.

At 22:02, Leskauskas goes down the left of the field to score, but a Florida player blocked the shot.

The Rebels worked their way toward the Florida goal. A Rebel received the cross and heads it at the goal. Alexa Goldberg dove to deflect the shot.

After a bit of up and down the field, the Rebels figured out how to break through with their offense. However, Florida’s defense did a good job at clearing and denying the Rebels chances at scoring.

With 1:24 left of the half, Erica Roberts took a shot on goal to try and put the Gators on the board but it didn’t go in and the half ended tied 0-0.

“We have to play a little bit quicker and try to connect a little bit more. There is a segment of time where we were a little disconnected and had a hard time keeping it,” Florida head coach Samantha Bohon said.

Rebels win the second half

At the start of the second half, the Gators sat back and watched the Rebels create plays that benefited them. Six minutes in Mo O’Connor took a shot and got denied by Goldberg. Not even a minute later at 51:36, O’Connor returned with the ball and scored off her right foot with an assist from Taylor Radecki, 1-0.

Throughout the half, the Gators struggled to navigate around the Rebels and keep the ball on Ole Miss’ side. The Rebels took two more shots before Florida even took their first one of the half.

At 72:00, Gators took their first corner kick of the game. Florida charged into the box but didn’t capitalize. Three minutes later Oakley Rasmussen took her first shot of the game.  But in the end, the Gators would lose a hard fought 1-0 game.

Florida is now 0-2 in SEC play and will next play at home Sunday against Georgia at noon.


About Molly Cooper

Molly is a fourth-year journalism major specializing in sports and media and working on a certificate in sports management at the University of Florida.

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