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Melanie Booth's free kick goal at 27:51 was her first goal of the season.

Friday November 2, 2007No. 22 Florida Soccer Defeats South Carolina 2-0; Gators Play for SEC Title on Sunday

Gainesville, FL

Melanie Booth's free kick goal at 27:51 was her first goal of the season.

The No. 22 University of Florida soccer team (12-4-2, 8-2 SEC) defeated Southeastern Conference Eastern Division rival South Carolina (13-5-2, 5-4-2 SEC) 2-0 Friday evening in front of a James G. Pressly crowd of 926.

 

The win was the eighth consecutive for the Gators and the seventh shutout during that stretch. The loss was the first for the Gamecocks this season that was decided by more than a single goal.

 

After Georgia defeated SEC leader Tennessee 3-0 Friday in Athens, Ga., the Gators now have the opportunity to play for the SEC title on Sunday when Vanderbilt comes to town. The other 10 league team completed SEC regular-season play Friday evening. The original date for the UF-VU match was postponed until Sunday due to inclement weather in the Gainesville area on Oct. 5. Friday’s win gave Georgia 26 points in the SEC standings, moving the Bulldogs into first, followed by Tennessee (25 points) and Florida (24 points). Both Florida and Vanderbilt will be looking for the win Sunday. The Gators need the three points awarded for a win in Sunday’s match to claim their second consecutive league title. A win gives Vanderbilt the eighth seed in the SEC Tournament, set for Nov. 7-11 in Orange Beach, Ala. The top eight teams in the final regular-season standings advance to the SEC Tournament.

 

2007 SEC Soccer Standings

 (as of 11/2/07)

School

SEC Record

Points

Georgia

8-1-2

26

Tennessee

8-2-1

25

Florida

8-2

24

LSU

5-2-4

19

Auburn

6-5

18

South Carolina

5-4-2

17

Mississippi

4-4-3

15

Kentucky

4-6-1

13

Vanderbilt

3-5-2

11

MSU

2-8-1

7

Alabama

2-8-1

7

Arkansas

1-9-1

4

 

 

 

Win = 3 pts., Tie = 1 pt.

Top eight teams advance to SEC Tournament, Nov. 7-11 in Orange Beach, Ala.

All teams completed league play Nov. 2 except Florida and Vanderbilt

In Friday’s action, the Gators used a goal from each half to take the win. A free kick was awarded in the 28th minute when senior Ashley Harris was knocked to the ground just a few paces above the 18-yard box. Three Gators – Stacy Bishop, Melanie Booth and KeLeigh Hudson - stood over the ball, discussing who would take the kick. Bishop then joined the players in the box, leaving the two to decide. It was Booth who took the left-footed kick, bending the ball to the upper slot for her first goal of the season. The goal was also the first free kick score by the Gators in 2007.

 

“The position of the ball was more likely for a left-footed shot. KeLeigh just told me to shoot it, so listened to her,” Booth said about the discussion before the shot. “It felt pretty good. It’s a goal and it’s going to get us ahead in the game - that’s all I was really thinking about.”

 

Florida had several great looks at the goal in the second half, but it took until the 80th minute for UF to get its second score. Harris had the ball low in the box. She laid it back to Ashlee Elliott, who hit the seven-yard shot to the upper corner of the far post. It was Elliott’s second consecutive match with a goal and her third of the season.

 

“I decided to go take it up for once. I’ve been doing that and the coaches have been allowing me to go forward a lot. I combined with Ashley and it was a bouncy ball, so I just followed it in and I got a goal,” Elliott said. “It was a lofted goal, not one of the prettiest, but it was a good goal.”

 

Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh knew that the USC backline would be tough to beat, as the Gamecocks had recorded 11 shutouts heading into Friday’s match.

 

“We knew coming into the game that South Carolina was going to be very well organized defensively. They were and I thought they did a good job with that,” she said. “I was impressed with our team’s ability to limit their offense in the second half. They had four shots at halftime and they ended the game with four shots. That was a real credit to our team’s ability to shut that down.”

 

For the match, the Gators outshot the Gamecocks 12-4. The shutout was the 11th for UF this season.

 

Next up, the Gators play host to Vanderbilt (6-9-3, 3-5-2 SEC) on Sunday, Nov. 4. Vanderbilt lost 1-0 to Kentucky Friday in Nashville, Tenn. Match time is set for 12:30 p.m. at Pressly Stadium and Florida’s eight member senior class will be honored in a pre-match ceremony. Match statistics plus streaming audio and video of the UF-VU match can be found on www.GatorZone.com.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

USC

0

0

0

Florida

1

1

2

 

Scoring:

UF: Melanie Booth (unassisted) 27:51

UF: Ashlee Elliott (Ashley Harris) 79:26

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

USC

Lindsay Thorstenson

90:00

4

2

Florida

Meghan Berlingo

45:00

3

0

 

Katie Fraine

45:00

0

0

 

Statistical Summary:

USC

UF

Shots

4

12

Shot on goal

3

6

Saves

4

3

Corner Kicks

4

2

Fouls

13

17

Offside

1

1

 

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