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Ameera Abdullah turned in a goal and an assist in UF's 4-1 win versus Georgia.

Wednesday November 1, 2006Four Second Half Goals Send No. 16 UF Soccer to SEC Semifinal with 4-1 Win Over Georgia

ORANGE BEACH, Ala.

Ameera Abdullah turned in a goal and an assist in UF's 4-1 win versus Georgia.

Four second half goals, including three in the final 10 minutes, gave the No. 16 University of Florida soccer team (12-4-4, 7-1-3 SEC) a 4-1 win over Georgia (10-9, 5-6 SEC) in Wednesday’s opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament held at the Orange Beach SportPlex

 

Florida now will meet No. 5 seed South Carolina match in Friday’s semifinal round. South Carolina advanced based on its 4-3 advantage in penalty kicks over Vanderbilt after the two teams played to a 1-1 double overtime tie in the final match of the opening day. The other semifinal match will be Tennessee versus Kentucky. Tennessee was a 5-2 winner over Auburn and Kentucky posted a 3-2 victory over Mississippi in the day’s opening match.

 

When Florida and Georgia met in the regular season, Florida posted a 2-1 overtime win in Gainesville. The first three goals of Wednesday’s match were turned in by the exact same players in the exact same order.

 

Just like the regular-season meeting, the Georgia Bulldogs took the very early lead off a corner kick. It was even the same two players that scored, as Megan Tomlinson headed in the ball served up by Kelly Whitaker at 1:54.

 

The Gators finished the opening half with just a pair of shots. UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said the team was challenged at halftime to find a way to score.

 

“At halftime we talked about taking more risks and about who was going to put this team on their back. I think a lot of people took on that responsibility in the second half,” Burleigh said. “Players did whatever was needed and that effort helped give us the win. It showed a lot of character for this team to come from a goal down to get the win and advance.”

 

The first Gator goal came off a free kick. Sophomore Megan Kerns gave Florida the tying goal at 54:51 when she headed in Ameera Abdullah’s left-footed service.

 

“I jumped up and got my head on it. I actually thought the goalkeeper was going to have it but I guess it snuck by,” Kerns said. “Hopefully it did (lift the team). I think it did a little bit. It made things a little bit lighter knowing that now we have it going. Once our team gets one goal, we can usually get another so that always helps.”

 

The match remained tied for the next 26 minutes, but those goals did come for the Gators in the final 10 minutes. Junior Stacy Bishop scored on a falling down header, putting in freshman Lauren Hyde’s free kick in from eight yards.

 

“The ball was just going away from me and I did everything I could to get something on it. I just happened to be flopping,” Bishop said. “I didn’t even know it went in until everyone was jumping on me.”

 

The final two Florida goals came with 40 seconds. Junior KeLeigh Hudson saw her opportunity when freshman Ashlee Elliott made a strong effort to run down the ball deep in the Georgia half. It was the first goal of the season for Hudson.

 

“I saw that Ashlee got in behind the defenders and the two defenders were going after her. No one was near me in the box so I made a run out of the middle and was calling for it,” Hudson said. “She played a perfect ball to me and I just wanted to make sure I kept it low and put it in.”

 

The Gators final goal came at 86:32 when Abdullah took the service from junior Shelley Lyle to have a 1v1 opportunity in the box.

 

“I saw that Shelley had gotten the ball in the midfield so I was trying to break out wide. I tried to bend my run in because the defender had cut off my path. I just kind of spun off and ran in,” Abdullah said. “Shelley played the ball over and I just tried to stay composed and finished it.”

 

Abdullah now leads UF with nine goals this season, while Bishop is the Gators’ points leader with 22 points off of eight goals and six assists.

 

Next up, Florida heads to the Friday’s semifinal round. The Florida-South Carolina match time is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET) and can be heard on www.GatorZone.com

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

Georgia

1

0

1

Florida

0

4

4

 

Scoring:

UGA – Megan Tomlinson (Kelly Whitaker) 1:54

UF – Megan Kerns (Ameera Abdullah) 54:51

UF – Stacy Bishop (Lauren Hyde) 80:44

UF – KeLeigh Hudson (Ashlee Elliott) 85:56

UF – Abdullah (Shelley Lyle) 86:32

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Georgia

Lauren Church

90

4

4

Florida

Brittni Goodwin

90

3

1

 

Statistical Summary:

UGA

UF

Shots

6

11

Saves

5

3

Corner Kicks

6

3

Fouls

7

7

Offside

2

2

 

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