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Sunday November 18, 2007Florida Soccer Advances to NCAA Round of 16 with 4-3 Penalty Kick Advantage over UCF

Gainesville, FL

The Gators rush to celebrate with goalkeeper Meghan Berlingo after UF claimed a 4-3 PK advantage.

A 4-3 advantage in penalty kicks sends the No. 3 seeded Florida soccer team (17-4-3, 9-2 SEC) to its second consecutive (and seventh overall) NCAA Round of Sixteen. Florida and UCF (15-4-4, 7-1-1 CUSA) ended 110 minutes of play without a score, forcing the match to penalty kicks to decide which team advances to the next round.

 

After the first five shooters, the penalty kicks score was tied at 3-all. The Gators sent their sixth player, Ameera Abdullah, to the penalty spot. Her shot to the left upper slot was good. UCF junior Hanna Wilde was sent to take the Golden Knights’ sixth shot. Gator freshman goalkeeper Meghan Berlingo went left, but it was the top right post that kicked the ball back into the field of play. The Gators rushed to Berlingo to celebrate the team’s advancement to the next round.

 

“It was really exciting,” Berlingo said. “I thought I knew that’s where she was going to go and then when it bounced off the post it was great. The post helped me out and it was awesome.”

 

Berlingo played the opening half in goal and was replaced by Fraine for the second half. The two have been splitting halves for the last 10 matches. When it came time for penalty kicks, UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh used her notes from practice, and a bit of a gut feeling, to decide who to put in goal and who to take the shots.

 

“When we practice our penalty kicks during training sessions, the players take them all the time and the keepers defend them all the time. Each day I keep track of who makes their kicks and the quality that they are. We also keep track of which keeper on that day was the best at defending them,” Burleigh said. “It was pretty close, actually. Both Katie and Meghan had done well defending penalty kicks. I thought overall Meghan had a little bit more of an edge, just in terms of her ability trying to come up with big saves. So, it was kind of just a gut feeling decision.”

 

Did You Know

Two of the four meetings between Florida and UCF in NCAA play have extended to overtime. In addition to today’s match, Florida took a 3-2 2OT win in 2003 NCAA First Round action in Gainesville.

Two of the Golden Knight’s misses hit off the post, but Berlingo did make the save on the attempt by UCF’s third shooter, Sarah de Leon. With the penalty kick score tied at 1-all, Berlingo kept UCF from taking the advantage by lunging right to make the save with her hands.

 

“The one that I saved, the striker lined up very differently than usual. She had her back to the goal and when the ref blew the whistle that’s when she turned around, which is very rare. I’ve never seen that before.  I just had a feeling that she was going to go to my right and when you make that kind of decision you have to just go with it and make a really hard dive to get to the ball,” Berlingo said. “If they shoot it in that corner and it’s struck hard, there’s nothing you can do about it, but you have to go with your gut.”

 

Florida got successful penalty kick conversions from Megan Kerns, Shelley Lyle, Daniela Sanchez and the fourth from Abdullah. Lyle was the only one among the Gators’ six penalty kick strikers who hadn’t scored a goal as a Gator. She was nervous, but was able to give UF its second successful shot.

 

“I was actually pretty nervous.  I normally get really nervous.  I remember thinking before overtime ‘I might have to take a penalty kick.’ I knew being a senior, being a captain; I needed to step up for my team,” Lyle said. “They count on me and I need to be dependable.”

 

Florida also needed penalty kicks to advance to the 2006 NCAA Round of 16. Last year in Milwaukee, Wis., Florida and Marquette played to a scoreless tie in the NCAA Second Round, with the Gators advancing with a 4-3 penalty kick advantage. The Gators are now 2-2 all-time in penalty kick decisions.

 

Both teams had excellent looks at the goal during the match. In the 18th minute, Melanie Booth crossed the ball from the left side. Kerns’ header was deflected out where Ashley Harris retrieved the ball, but her 12-yard shot was saved by UCF goalkeeper Jennifer Manis.

 

In the 22nd minute, Florida had trouble had trouble clearing the ball out of their box and the Golden Knights pounced on their opportunity. Becca Thomas took a hard six-yard shot, but Berlingo’s left-handed reaction save kept that ball out of the Gator net.

 

Florida had three opportunities within a three-minute span of the opening half. In the 28th minute, Kerns played a ball that Abdullah caught up to on a perfectly timed run. The goal was wide open, but Abdullah couldn’t get her right foot around the ball enough and her shot was wide of the near post. Just a couple of minutes later, Abdullah again made her way into the box, but her two consecutive shots were both saved by Manis.

 

One of the better Gator chances in the overtime period came in the 106th minute. Abdullah made a cross into the box, but Harris was just inches away from getting the needed touch to beat the keeper.

 

Manis, the 2007 Conference USA Defender of the Year, turned in a total of eight saves Sunday. The Gators outshot the Golden Knights 24-5 for the day.

 

Florida senior KeLeigh Hudson injured her right knee while tracking down a ball deep in the UCF half in the ninth minute. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is pending to determine the extent of the injury. KeLeigh Hudson is Florida’s second leading goal scorer with nine goals and 23 points in 2007. She earned All-Southeastern Conference second-team honors earlier this month.

 

Florida will now face No. 2 seed Southern California (16-3-2, 6-2-1 Pac 10) on Saturday, Nov. 24 in Los Angeles, Calif., in NCAA Round of 16 action. The Trojans defeated Missouri 1-0 2OT in Sunday’s second round. Although the Trojans own a current 10-match unbeaten streak on their home field (McAlister Field) Saturday's match will be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 10 p.m. (ET). The last time USC played host to a soccer match at the Memorial Coliseum was Sept. 9, 2001 versus Nebraska.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

OT1

OT2

Final

PK

UCF

0

0

0

0

0

3

Florida

0

0

0

0

0

4

 

Scoring:

None

 

Penalty Kicks

In Goal: Meghan BerlingoFlorida; Jennifer Manis – UCF

 

Penalty Kick Results

UF

UCF

Shootout Attempt By UF Stacy Bishop MISSED, Save Jennifer Manis.

0

0

Shootout Attempt By UCF Lauren Halbert MADE Off Meghan BERLINGO.

0

1

Shootout Attempt By UF Megan Kerns MADE Off Jennifer Manis.

1

1

Shootout Attempt By UCF Amanda Martorana MISSED, Save Meghan Berlingo.

1

1

Shootout Attempt By UF Ashley Harris MISSED, Save Jennifer Manis.

1

1

Shootout Attempt By UCF Sarah de Leon MISSED, Save Meghan Berlingo.

1

1

Shootout Attempt By UF Shelley Lyle MADE Off Jennifer Manis.

2

1

Shootout Attempt By UCF Jessica Jackson MADE Off Meghan Berlingo.

2

2

Shootout Attempt By UF Daniela Sanchez MADE Off Jennifer Manis.

3

2

Shootout Attempt By UCF Becca Thomas MADE Off Meghan Berlingo.

3

3

Shootout Attempt By UF Ameera Abdullah MADE Off Jennifer Manis.

4

3

Shootout Attempt By UCF Hanna Wilde MISSED, Save Meghan Berlingo.

4

3

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

UCF

Jennifer Manis

110:00

8

0

Florida

Meghan Berlingo

45:00

1

0

 

Katie Fraine

65:00

0

0

 

Statistical Summary:

UCF

UF

Shots

5

24

Shot on goal

1

8

Saves

8

1

Corner Kicks

1

6

Fouls

17

10

Offside

1

4

 

NCAA Field (Region that contains Florida)

* - denotes host institution

1

Penn St.* (16-3-2)

 

 

 

 

 

 PSU 4-0

 

 

 

Monmouth (12-4-4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postponed

 

 

Hofstra (17-3-0)

 

 

 

 

 

 Hofstra 1-0

 

 

 

Ohio St. (12-9-1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Madison (16-4-1)

 

 

 

 

 

JMU 2-0

 

 

 

Penn (13-3-1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 WVU 2-0

 

 

Navy (13-4-4)

 

 

 

 

 

WVU 4-0

 

 

4

West Virginia* (15-4-2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Florida* (16-4-2)

 

 

 

 

 

Florida 3-0

 

 

 

Miami (Fla.) (9-6-5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida 0-0 2OT (4-3 PK)

 

 

Auburn (10-7-2)

 

 

 

 

 

UCF 3-1

 

 

 

UCF (14-4-3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri* (13-7-0)

 

 

 

 

 

UM 0-0 (2-0 PK)

 

 

 

Southeast Mo. St. (12-2-3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

USC* 1-0 2OT

 

 

Creighton (11-7-2)

 

 

 

 

 

USC 3-0

 

 

2

Southern California (14-3-2)

 

 

 

 

 

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