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Friday August 22, 2008No. 20 Florida Soccer and Colorado Tie 1-1 2OT to Open 2008 Season

BOULDER, Colo. -

The No. 20 University of Florida soccer team (0-0-1, 0-0 SEC) and Colorado (0-0-1, 0-0 Big 12) tied 1-1 in double-overtime Friday evening in front of a Prentup Field crowd of 1,081. It was the season opener for both teams.

 

It was the second time in the program’s 14-year history the Gators opened a season with an overtime contest. The first also ended in a tie when UF and Portland tied 1-1 2OT in Gainesville for the 2006 opener.

 

Both teams scored early in the match Friday. The Buffaloes took the lead at 9:31 when Kate Russell put in the deflection off her own shot from short range in the middle of the goal.

 

Florida responded at 12:03 when a pair of Gator seniors combined to tie the score. Liz Ruberry’s pass found All-American Ameera Abdullah, who put in her 14-yard left strike at the far post. It was the 18th goal of Abdullah’s collegiate career.

 

“The ball kind of popped up and it was going forward so I tried my best to volley it because I knew the defense was dropping back,” Abdullah said. “So I did my best to get my knee over the ball and strike it at the right place and it worked.”

 

Katie Fraine opened the second half with an acrobatic save to keep the Buffaloes from regaining the lead. In the 47th minute, CU looked to have a clear shot in the box. Gianna DeSaverio took the eight-yard shot, but Fraine made the save with her foot.

 

The Gators looked to score the go-ahead goal in the second half, but the goal was called off. With 14 minutes remaining in the second half, junior Ashlee Elliott headed in the ball off a free kick, but was ruled offside.

 

Florida had a couple of chances in the overtime periods, but couldn’t get the ball across the line. In the 104th minute, the Gators were awarded their first corner kick of the match. Abdullah’s kick found the head of Jessica Eicken, but her shot was saved by CU goalkeeper Kara Linder at the near post.

 

Freshman Sarah Chapman’s free kick found Megan Kerns in the box in the 108th minute. She tried to make the turn, but Kerns and her defender came down in the box. Kerns was able to still get the ball wide with her outstretched foot, but Linder covered the ball before a Gator could make a touch on it.

 

UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh is never satisfied with a tie.

 

“Nobody likes ties,” Burleigh said. “Give the circumstances that we were away to open, at altitude with lots of nervous freshmen playing, we can live with it. But we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

 

“I thought it was a really big sign for us to not allow them to keep the lead. To turnaround and answer right after they scored is huge,” she continued. “That was definitely a good sign for us.”

 

Two Gators had large cheering contingents in the crowd Friday. Abdullah and freshman Marsha Harper are both from Denver and their family and friends came to the match showing their support on orange t-shirts.

 

“There were lots of familiar faces on and off the field,” Abdullah said. “Just being at home in an environment that you are familiar with was really great.”

 

Next up, the Gators return to the Sunshine State to face Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton on Sunday, Aug. 24. Match time is set for 2 p.m. at the FAU Field.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

OT1

OT2

Final

Florida

1

0

0

0

1

Colorado

1

0

0

0

1

 

Scoring:

CU – Kate Russell (unassisted) 9:31

UF – Ameera Abdullah (Liz Ruberry) 12:03

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Florida

Katie Fraine

110:00

5

1

Colorado

Kara Linder

110:00

1

1

 

Statistical Summary:

UF

CU

Shots

4

24

Saves

5

0

Corner Kicks

1

2

Fouls

17

12

Offside

1

2

 

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