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Sunday August 30, 2009No. 7 Florida Soccer Defeats USF 2-1

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 7 University of Florida soccer team (3-0, 0-0 SEC) came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to defeat USF (1-1, 0-0 Big East) 2-1 Sunday afternoon in front of a James G. Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,787.

 

The Bulls took advantage of a Gator defensive problem late in the opening half to take the 1-0 halftime lead. Brittany Pilon found Noelle Pineiro with space in the box. Pineiro hit the 10-yard shot for her second goal of the season at 44:25.

 

That goal didn’t sit well with UF senior All-American Lauren Hyde. She took responsibility for that goal and used it to motivate herself and the Gators in the halftime locker room. It was Hyde that tied the match early in the second half. UF was awarded a free kick after Erika Tymrak was fouled. Hyde took the strike and her 25-yard shot hit the post and kicked in for her first collegiate goal.

 

“I was pretty mad about what happened in the first half. I felt kind of like (the USF goal) was my fault. I didn’t clear it well and I went in the locker room saying ‘I’m going to score six goals if I have to; we’re not losing this game.’

 

“I was really happy. I was actually more excited that I didn’t let the team down. I kind of gained back the goal that was scored in the first half. But I was excited too – your first goal is always fun”

 

Free kicks have been a focus for the Gators during early season training and the players called upon to take the shots are called Florida’s “Special Teams.”

 

“We’ve been practicing free kicks a lot in preseason and this fall; much more than we used to,” Hyde said. “Alan (Kirkup, UF Assistant Coach) yelled ‘Kick it hard’ to me before the shot. That is something we’ve worked on – we know how to kick it but we often don’t kick it hard enough. So I focused on that and it ended up hitting the right side of the post and it went it.”

 

Hyde also played a part in Florida’s second goal. Sophomore Jazmyne Avant crossed the ball from the sideline into the center of the box. Hyde took a shot, but a USF defender blocked the ball. The deflection popped up and Tahnai Annis’s volley shot found the back of the net from eight-yards at 77:17. It happened so quick that Annis didn’t have any time to think about the play while it was happening – just react.

 

“There was not very much time at all when it was happening.  It was just a reaction. I had to be ready to get anything on it I could,” Annis said. “It was my first goal of the season so it was very exciting.”

 

In Friday’s 3-0 win over Florida International, UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh was unhappy with her team’s slow play at the beginning of the match. Florida looked sharp in the early going Sunday. In the third minute, senior Ashlee Elliott took an eight-yard shot set up by passes from Angela Napolitano and Tymrak but USF goalkeeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi made the save. Just two minutes later, Elliott looked to take a shot from middle of the box, but she let the ball roll through as she knew Jessica Eicken was coming done the left side. Eicken took the shot but it was again stopped by Lofton-Malachi. Sophomore Lindsay Thompson looked to have good look at the goal in the 29th minute when Lofton-Malachi came out to make the stop, but Thompson’s left-footed shot was wide of the far post.

 

“For the first 20-25 minutes, I thought we played really well. I liked what we were doing and we created a lot of opportunities but unfortunately we didn’t finish. We took momentum away for ourselves by not finishing those opportunities,” Burleigh said. ”I really loved the way we played the first 20-25 minutes.”

 

At halftime, Burleigh told the team to trust their system.

 

“We just told them to relax (at halftime). We need to focus on the process, not the outcome. In the process, we were doing what we needed to do and the outcome will follow.

 

“I’m not sure that we’ve put together two full halves. At this point, we don’t want to be peaking by any stretch,” she continued. “We’ve got a lot to work on but there are many positives.”

 

Elliott suffered a left knee sprain and left the match in the 16th minute. She will be examined by team doctors early this week. Elliott scored the first goal of the season on Aug. 21 at Miami and is a two-time All-Southeastern Conference first team selection.

 

For the match, UF goalkeeper Katie Fraine turned in two saves while USF’s Lofton-Malachi tallied eight.

 

The Gators head to the Midwest next weekend for a pair of matches. Florida faces Indiana (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) on Friday, Sept. 4 at 1 p.m. The Hoosiers were 1-0 winners over Central Michigan Sunday. Then the Gators heads to Champaign, Ill., to face No. 9 UCLA (0-1-1, 0-0 Pac 10) on Sunday, Sept. 6 at noon. Both matches can be heard on www.GatorZone.com and Sunday’s match can also be heard live on AM 850 WRUF.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

USF

1

0

1

Florida

0

2

2

 

Scoring:

USF: Noelle Pineiro (Brittany Pilon) 44:25

UF: Lauren Hyde (free kick) 49:31

UF: Tahnai Annis (Hyde) 77:17

 

Goalkeepers:

 

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

USF

Mallori Lofton-Malachi

90:00

8

2

Florida

Katie Fraine

90:00

2

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Summary:

USF

UF

Shots

6

19

Shots on goal

3

10

Saves

8

2

Corner Kicks

3

4

Fouls

12

12

Offside

2

3

 

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