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#3 Leah Bridges
  • 2L
  • Defender
  • 5-8
  • Pensacola, Fla.
  • (Pensacola)

Decided to leave program and transferred out of Florida January 1997...Started every match as a Gator...Starter in 45 consecutive matches over two seasons played.

1996: One of three returning starters from 1995 at defender...Ranked third (1,913) behind fellow defenders Melanie Freeman and Moreira in minutes played...Scored three goals and two assists for six points from her defender position...Scored her third goal of the year in UF's 5-0 shutout over Wake Forest in the second round of the NCAA Tournament...Other two goals came against Old Dominion and Stetson...Had the game winning assist against Central Florida....Also had an assist against Mississippi...Part of a defensive backline that produced 15 shutouts...Named to the 1996 Southeastern Conference All-Academic Honor Roll...Along with Gator teammate Melissa Pini, was invited to National Soccer Festival in San Antonio, Texas, in August.

1995: 20 games (20 starts) for 1,586 minutes...Tri captain...Seven goals (three game winners) and one assist for 15 points...Tied for third on team in goals, fourth in points and third in minutes played...One of only three players to start every match...Scored game winning goal on first half header vs. Alabama...Assisted on game winner vs. East Carolina...Registered second multi goal game, scoring twice in 4 1 win vs. Mercer...Netted first two career goals in 2 1 Southeastern Conference opening win at Kentucky.

High School: 1994 and 1995 Northwest Florida and Pensacola News Journal Girls Soccer Player of the Year...Three time all state selection...Four time All Northwest Region team member...Named Pensacola's 1995 Scholar Athlete of the Year...Four year varsity team captain...Scored 179 career goals, including school record 46 in 1994...Four time offensive MVP for prep team...Led team in scoring three consecutive years...Played for Shasta Blitz, Pensacola Strikers and Mobile (Ala.) Cosmos club teams...Member of Olympic Development Program (ODP) and Southeast Regional player pool since 1992...Selected to 1993 and 1995 ODP Region III teams...Earned All Northwest Region honors in cross country...Lettered in basketball in 1992 and was the kicker for varsity football team in 1993.

Personal: Born May 30, 1977...Daughter of Terrell and Marilyn Bridges...1995 graduate of Pensacola High School where she was coached by Guy Beard...Gators' 1995 96 Off-season Effort Award recipient...Plans to pursue career as a Christian singer...Sang national anthem at Florida basketball game in January, in addition to performing at intermission of UF gymnastics meet in February...Also considered Georgia, South Alabama and Virginia Tech.

Major: Zoology.

Bridges' Collegiate Statistics
Year G-GS Min. Shots G(GW) A Pts.
1995 20-20 1586 33 7 (3) 1 15
1996 25-25 1910 30 3 2 8
Totals 45 45 3496 63 10 (3) 3 23
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