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Saturday September 16, 2000UF Soccer Defeats No. 13 USC 2-1 in Second OT

Gainesville, FL

Abby Wambach scored twice for theGators Friday.

Junior All-American Abby Wambach scored the golden goal for the Gators in the 110th minute, giving the University of Florida soccer team a 2-1 win Friday over previously undefeated No. 13 Southern California. The win ups the Gators' record to 3-4, while Southern California drops to 5-1.

The match was forced to overtime when the regulation 90-minutes ended with a 1-1 tie. Wambach's winning goal at 109:07 ranks as the second latest goal to give the Gators the win in school history. The win also snaps a three-match losing steak, the longest in the team's six-year history.

"My initial quote has to be "Finally". We finally did what we are capable of doing," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "This is what Gator soccer is about - double-teaming, playing defense. I wasn't happy with the goal we gave up. That again was a mental lapse, but we found a way to equalize then found a way to go ahead. You've got to find a way to win and that's what we did.

"I think this is big for our confidence. It is important for us to get in the win column - especially against a ranked team. Southern Cal is a good team that will be there at the end of the season. So we feel this is our first step. It is just one step and know we need to put it behind us and get ready for BYU."

USC freshman Megan Abbamonto scored the only goal of the opening half, hitting a six-yard volley off the cross from Isabelle Harvey at 31:30. The Gators had some good opportunities in the first half, as two shots hit the goalposts.

Wambach, who scored both goals for the Gators Friday, knotted the score at 60:05 with her third goal of the season. She took the cross from Andi Sellers, hanging in the air to back heel the ball in from three-yards. Wambach's game-winner was a 20-yard blast into the upper right corner of the goal.

"Andi (Sellers) made a great play, keeping the ball alive and shielding her player for me to get the ball," Wambach said about her second goal. "I just ran through and then it was just a one-v-one against my girl. I was kind of far out and I saw the goalie kind of off her line. I saw the far post open and I shot for it."

For the match, the Gators outshot the Women of Troy 25-15. UF goalkeeper Jordan Kellgren matched her collegiate-high with seven saves, while USC's Shaelyn Fernandes turned six saves.

Next up, the Gators play host to Brigham Young University on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. BYU is ranked No. 18 in the latest Soccer Times poll. The UF-BYU match will air tape-delayed one hour on Sunshine Network.

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