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Ashlee Elliott headed in Liz Ruberry's corner kick to give UF its first score at No. 17 Auburn.

Friday September 22, 2006No. 24 Florida Soccer Opens SEC Season with 3-1 Win at No. 17 Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. -

Ashlee Elliott headed in Liz Ruberry's corner kick to give UF its first score at No. 17 Auburn.

The No. 24 University of Florida soccer team (5-3-1, 1-0 SEC) opened the Southeastern Conference season with a win at a field that hasn’t been kind to the Gators, taking a 3-1 victory at No. 17 Auburn (6-2, 0-1 SEC) Friday evening in front of a crowd of 1,054 the Auburn University Soccer Complex.

 

This is only the second win for the Gators over AU in Auburn in the 12-match all-time series and the first since 1999. Friday’s match also marked the fifth top-20 team the Gators have faced this season and the third consecutive, as UF defeated then No. 17 Duke 1-0 last Friday and lost 1-0 to No. 5 North Carolina on Sunday.

 

“This is a hard place to play,” UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. “We’ve struggled every time we’ve come here so to come in here and come away with a 3-1 win is a big deal for us.”

 

The first two UF goals came off of opening half set plays. Freshman Ashlee Elliott used her height to head in the corner kick from junior Liz Ruberry at 14:11. Elliott had been working on heading the ball ever since she arrived on campus this summer and she was happy to finally put one across the goal line.

 

“We were working on the headers earlier today, but we’ve been working on them for a long time. In practices earlier in the season, I would work all the time with Coach Alan (Kirkup, UF assistant coach) on headers,” Elliott said. “Liz served the perfect ball and I just ran on to it, flicked it off my head and it went in. I was very excited!”

 

Ruberry then got a goal of her own at 25:14.UF was awarded a free kick just a few steps into the AU half. Ruberry’s 40-yard shot skidded on the wet grass in the box and went in at the near post for her second goal of the season.

 

The Tigers cut the lead in half at 65:10 when Caitlin King put the ball in from two-yards at the near post off assist from Kristin Stewart and Kara Kasten.

 

Katie Green pushed the UF lead back to two goals at 85:17. She got the ball endline and looked to cross the ball. The AU goalkeeper came out to make the save, but misjudged the ball, as it deflected off her legs and rolled slowly across the goal line at the far post.

 

“I had one defender and I could hear the coaches in my head saying ‘Go endline!”. So I took it endline and when I had nowhere else to go, I just drove it, hoping I could get it to (Stacy) Bishop. But it deflected off of her (the goalkeeper) and went in.”

 

The Gators were without junior captain Shelley Lyle, who was serving a one-match suspension due to accumulating two yellow cards in Sunday’s match versus North Carolina. Burleigh was pleased with the contributions from the players tonight.

 

“Getting the win is big deal because we were missing Shelley tonight and she is a key part of our team, but we got contributions from a lot of people so that is always a positive,” Burleigh said. ‘I thought at times we did some really good things. I was really pleased with the two set pieces because that was something that we worked on this morning. I still think we can do a better job of scoring goals in the run of play. The last goal was in the run of play, but we had some other opportunities that we could have been more successful with.”

 

Florida continues SEC road action Sunday, Sept. 24 when it travels to Alabama. The Tide lost 2-0 to South Carolina in their league opener. Match time is set for 2 p.m. (ET) at the Alabama Soccer Complex and can be heard live on www.GatorZone.com.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

Florida

2

1

3

Auburn

0

1

1

 

Scoring:

UF – Ashlee Elliott (Liz Ruberry) 14:11

UF –Ruberry 25:14

AU - Caitlin King (Kristin Stewart, Kara Kasten) 65:10

UF – Katie Green (unassisted) 85:17

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Florida

Brittni Goodwin

90

0

1

Auburn

Allison Whitworth

90

5

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Summary:

 UF

AU

Shots

13

8

Saves

0

5

Corner Kicks

4

5

Fouls

12

10

Offside

5

2

 

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