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Jessica Eicken headed in the golden goal winner in Florida's 4-3 OT win at Vanderbilt Friday.

Friday October 3, 2008No. 15 Florida Soccer Take 4-3 OT Win at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Jessica Eicken headed in the golden goal winner in Florida's 4-3 OT win at Vanderbilt Friday.

Junior Jessica Eicken provided a fitting ending to a dramatic match, as her header goal in the 95th minute provided the No. 15 Florida soccer team (8-2-1, 3-0 SEC) a 4-3 overtime win at Vanderbilt (6-4-1, 0-3 SEC) Friday evening in front of a Vanderbilt Soccer Complex crowd of 805.

 

The Gators never led the match until Eicken’s golden goal. Three times the Gators were forced to come from behind to tie the match. The game-winner came when the Gators were awarded a corner kick early in overtime. Eicken said the Gators were looking to use that corner kick opportunity to end the match.

 

“All of us who were going in for the corner were telling each other ‘This is going to be it. This is it,’” Eicken said. “I could feel it. I think everyone did. I just went up for the header and I knew it was going in.

 

It was Eicken’s first goal this season and the second of her collegiate career. Adding to the moment for Eicken was a loud cheering section comprised of around 20 friends and family, including her older brother, John, who is in his second year at Vanderbilt’s Medical School.

 

“It was exciting to have my family here,” Eicken said. “My brother really hasn’t seen me play a full game in quite awhile. This is his school, but he came out to cheer for the Gators.”

 

Vanderbilt scored first at 25:01. VU’s Molly Kinsella was able to get behind the Florida backline and with UF goalkeeper Katie Fraine off her line to try to make the stop, Kinsella just needed to chip the ball into the empty net. She scored again at 35:34 when Megan Forester was able to play a ball that Molly Kinsella could run on it behind the Gator backline. Kinsella scored from 12- yards on her 1v1 opportunity with Fraine.

 

Did You Know?

Florida’s 4-3 OT win Friday at Vanderbilt was the 100th regular-season Southeastern Conference victory in the 14-year history of the program.

 

UF is now 100-15-9 (.843) all-time versus SEC opponents in regular-season action.

 

Sophomore Nicole Lukens gave the Commodores a 3-2 halftime lead when she scored in front of the goal, putting in the deflection off of Forester’s shot. The three VU goals in the opening half was a match high by a Florida opponent this season. It was also the most by a UF opponent in a half since Clemson scored four on Nov. 2, 2002.

 

Ameera Abdullah provided Florida’s first goal of the opening half at 27:14. Megan Kerns won the ball as VU was trying to move the ball out just above their box. The VU goalkeeper came out to make the stop, but Kerns was able to thread a pass to Abdullah, who scored an empty net goal at the far post corner.

 

Freshman Lindsay Thompson scored at 41:20 to temporarily again tie the match. Eicken took a shot off a corner kick and Thompson put in the rebound from short range at the far post for her third goal of the season.

 

As much scoring as there was in the opening half, there were several cards awarded in the second half. The first card of the match was a red card given to VU Head Coach Ronnie Coveleskie in the 63rd minute. Two Florida players – Ashlee Elliott and Caitlin Howard – received yellow cards within the next eight minutes.

 

The match tied up when Thompson brought the ball in the box, but her shot was deflected. Tahnai Annis found the deflection and the ball she placed out wide found Elliott making a far post run. Elliott scored from six yards for her third goal of the season at 75:59. 

 

It was Florida’s second overtime win of this early SEC season, as the Gators posted a 2-1 OT win over Georgia to open SEC play last Friday. Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh liked the character revealed by the Gators in this tense win.

 

“Very dramatic (win) - too dramatic,” Burleigh said. “Vanderbilt came out with a great game plan. They were going to just put numbers behind the ball and counter. They had a very effective counter attack and they got behind us a couple of times for some goals. We weren’t ahead until that last goal.

 

“This is a gigantic moment for our team in terms of demonstrating some of our character and our willingness to fight back and win. We played poorly and won on the road. That’s a hard thing to do. I give credit to Vanderbilt for giving us all we could handle, but I also give credit to our team for finding a way to win.”

 

Next up, Florida continues road play versus SEC Eastern Division rivals when it faces Kentucky (3-6-2, 1-1-1 SEC). Match time is set for 1 p.m. (ET) at the Kentucky Soccer Complex. The Wildcats are coming off a 2-0 loss to South Carolina Friday. The match will be televised live on SUN Sports. The match can be heard live on www.GatorZone.com with Sean Houston covering the action Sunday.

 

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

OT

Final

Florida

2

1

1

4

Vanderbilt

3

0

0

3

 

Scoring:

VU – Molly Kinsella (unassisted) 25:01

UF – Ameera Abdullah (Megan Kerns) 27:14

VU – Molly Kinsella (Megan Forester) 35:34

UF – Lindsay Thompson (Jessica Eicken) 41:20

VU – Nicole Lukens (unassisted) 43:31

UF – Ashlee Elliott (Tahnai Annis) 75:59

UF – Jessica Eicken (Abdullah) 94:14

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Florida

Katie Fraine

94:14

3

3

Vanderbilt

Rachel Bachtel

94:14

6

4

 

Statistical Summary:

UF

VU

Shots

15

13

Shots on goal

10

6

Saves

3

6

Corner Kicks

6

7

Fouls

9

7

Offside

2

2

 

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