Florida continues Southeastern Conference Eastern Division play Thursday as they travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to face the Tennessee Volunteers.
Last season, Tennessee won the Southeastern Conference East Division for the third consecutive season with a 7-2-1 record. This season, the Lady Vols have six freshmen and four transfers on the team who join five returning starters. They opened the season with three consecutive wins over California (4-1), Lipscomb (3-0) and East Tennessee State (3-1). Then, the Vols fell to SMU and tied Indiana, before two wins over Florida Atlantic and Radford.
Similarly to the Gators, Tennessee lost their opening conference matchup. They fell to No. 11 Arkansas 2-1. Sophomore Kameron Simmonds leads Tennessee with six goals, while Jordan Fusco, Sizzy Lawton and Maria Nelson have two goals apiece.
Gators Look to Avoid Third Straight Loss
Florida opened its SEC action with a 3-2 loss to the Missouri Tigers. Missouri opened the scoring with two straight goals and took a 2-1 lead in the first half. Jenna Bartels and Kylee Simmons were the two Vols to score in the half.
The Tigers lead was cut in half when redshirt sophomore Oakley Rasmussen successfully converted a penalty kick for the Gators after Tessa Barton was fouled. Though, the Gators trailed 2-1 when the halftime whistle blew.
Simmons scored again for the Tigers to put Missouri up 301. However, Florida didn’t go away, as freshman Megan Hinnenkamp cut the lead to one when she put in a through ball from Lauren McCloskey in the 75th minute. However, the Gators failed to score the equalizer, dropping its second straight game.
Despite losing their last two games, the Gators had a record of 4-0-2 in their first six games this season and are hopeful for a better outcome against Tennessee Thursday in the Regal Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m.