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The Gators celebrate their first goal by Ashlee Elliott

Friday November 17, 2006A 3-2 NCAA Round of 16 Loss to UCLA Ends Gator Soccer Season

LOS ANGELES, Calif.

The Gators celebrate their first goal by Ashlee Elliott

A flurry at the end couldn’t produce the tying Gator goal, as the University of Florida soccer team (14-6-5, 7-1-3 SEC) lost 3-2 to UCLA (20-3, 8-1 Pac 10) Friday evening in NCAA Championship third round action at the Drake Stadium. UCLA, the region’s No. 2 seed, now advances to next weekend’s NCAA Quarterfinal round and will face the winner of Sunday’s match versus regional top-seed Texas and defending NCAA champion Portland.

 

The Gators came out strong from the start of play. Perhaps playing in front of a vocal hometown following led the to Gators’ first goal, as freshman Ashlee Elliott hit a 20-yard strike to the upper slot of the far post corner at 3:48. Elliott is from Corona, Calif., a town located 65 miles southwest of the UCLA campus and more than 65 family and friends came to the match to cheer on Elliott. It was her fifth goal of the season.

 

“I just saw the keeper and I thought I’d take the chance. I shot it and it went in the goal,” Elliott said. “It has to be one of my longest goals ever.”

 

It was not long before the Bruins got the equalizer off a penalty kick at 7:27. The official called the Gators for a handball in the box and Danesha Adams successfully converted the shot to tie the match at 1-all. It was only the second penalty kick against the Gators this season and the first that was successful.

 

The Bruins score twice within 16 minutes of the second half. The Bruins’ leading goal scorer, freshman Lauren Cheney, scored on an unassisted 18-yard shot that went in at the far post at 50:02. She was also involved in the Bruins’ next score at 65:59, getting the assist off Christina DiMartino’s hard six-yard shot that found the back of the net at 65:59.

 

Florida mounted a furious attack in the final minutes of match. Shelley Lyle sent a well-played ball wide of the box to find Stacy Bishop. She fought through her defenders and was falling down when she took scored from eight yards with just under three minutes remaining.

 

With less than a minute to go, the Gators were awarded a free kick 35 yards from the goal. Ameera Abdullah sent the ball into the box, where Elliott nearly headed it into the goal at the upper corner of the near post.

 

“I thought that was mine. I heard the keeper call off line and then others said ‘I go’. I flicked it over but No. 2 (Stacy Lindstrom) was in the way,” Elliott said. “It was unfortunate.”

 

UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh was proud of her team’s effort Friday.

 

“The penalty kicks was a huge turning point in the match. I felt like our team competed hard and deserved better than the loss that we received,” Burleigh said. “I thought we were unlucky not to get the equalizer. It is a hard defeat for us to take, but we wish the best to UCLA as they go along, but I’d like to play them again tomorrow.”

 

This was Florida sixth appearance in the NCAA Round of 16 and the second time UF did not advance.

 

During the 2006 season, Florida turned in a record of 14-6-5, won its seventh Southeastern Conference title and was runner-up in the SEC Tournament. Florida made its 10th appearance in the NCAA Championships in the program’s 12-year history. Ten of the 11 Gator starters tonight return next season.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

Florida

1

1

2

UCLA

1

2

3

 

Scoring:

UF – Ashlee Elliott (Daniela Sanchez) 3:48

UCLA – Danesha Adams (PK) 7:27

UCLA – Lauren Cheney (unassisted) 50:02

UCLA – Christina DiMartino (Cheney) 65:59

UF – Stacy Bishop (Shelley Lyle) 87:11

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Florida

Brittni Goodwin

90:00

6

3

UCLA

Valerie Henderson

90:00

4

2

 

Statistical Summary:

UF

UCLA

Shots

10

13

Saves

6

5

Corner Kicks

3

4

Fouls

15

25

Offside

1

5

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