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No. 21 Florida lost 4-1 to Miami Friday at the James G. Pressly Stadium

Friday August 17, 2012No. 21 Gator Soccer Stunned by Miami 4-1 in Season Opener

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 21 Florida lost 4-1 to Miami Friday at the James G. Pressly Stadium

The No. 21 University of Florida soccer team (0-1, 0-0 SEC) lost 4-1 to Miami (1-0, 0-0 ACC) Friday evening in front of 1,243 at the James G. Pressly Stadium. It was the second home opener loss in the 18-year history of the Gator soccer program, with the first coming by UCF in 2008.

The win is the second for the Hurricanes in the six-match series between the two teams. The first also came at Pressly Stadium, when UM took a 1-0 win on Sept. 9, 2001.

The Hurricanes, who are receiving votes on the preseason NSCAA poll, jumped on the Gators with a 3-0 halftime lead. The first and third goals came off of corner kicks. Paige Lombard headed in the Hurricanes’ first goal of 2012 at 11:29 off the corner kick from Ali Brennan. The Hurricanes scored another set piece goal in the 31st minute. Brennan took a shot off the corner kick which was stopped by UF goalkeeper Taylor Burke, but Tina Romagnuolo was there to put in the rebound from short range.

Miami’s leading scorer from a year ago, Kate Howarth, hit the Hurricanes’ second goal at 16:32. Ashley Finn tapped the ball forward to find Howarth open at the six-yard box corner and she scored at the far post.

Florida broke through with a goal in the 57th minute. Senior All-American Erika Tymrak found freshman Claire Falknor with space on the left side of the box. Falknor calmly placed the ball in the far post corner for her first Gator goal.

 

Falknor, who had a similar opportunity just earlier in the match, made good on this chance. But the glow of her first collegiate goal was greatly dimmed by the final outcome.

 

“She played a good ball in. All I had to do was just put it in,” Falknor said. “It felt good but it wasn’t satisfying. We lost by a big amount.”

 

Florida’s goal came in a stretch where the Gators had the ball moving well, but when Miami’s Jesse Shugg put in a rebound in the 67th minute, that pushed the margin to the extremely-hard-to-overcome category.

 

“There was about a 15-minute stretch where the team had it really rolling. They got the goal, but Miami’s fourth goal was the back breaker,” UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. “It just had to do with mentality.  What was the difference a minute before that goal and a minute after that goal?  It was just all mentality.  We just need a stronger mentality.”

 

Sophomore Annie Speese echoed Burleigh’s comments.

 

“We need to work on our mentality. That is something we’ve been stressing during all preseason and since last season,” Speese said. “We didn’t win 50-50 balls and we let them beat us on set pieces. So that is what we are going to focus on this week.”

 

Burleigh gave credit to the Hurricanes for their set-piece success.

 

“Miami did an excellent job of taking care of set pieces,” Burleigh said. “We obviously didn’t do a good job handling the set pieces. Miami’s execution was perfect where our execution was very poor. Obviously that was the margin of victory for Miami.

 

“It’s a very disappointing way for the team to start, but it exposed weaknesses that are fixable for us.  I would rather have them exposed now than later into the season.”

 

The Gators now begin a three-match road stretch versus NSCAA preseason top-10 teams. Florida travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., to face No. 8 North Carolina (Aug. 24) and No. 2 Duke (Aug. 26) in the Nike Carolina Classic. The UF-UNC match can be seen live on ESPN3.

 

Then UF travels to Tallahassee to face its second-consecutive 2011 NCAA College Cup participant, No. 4 Florida State, on Friday, Aug. 31. That match is also slated to appear live on ESPN3.

 

All of the matches during the road trip can be heard on GatorZone.com. The UF-UNC and UF-Duke matches can also be heard on ESPN 850 or by simulcast on Cox Channel 946 (Gainesville/Ocala).

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

 

 

 

Miami

3

1

4

 

 

 

Florida

0

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goalkeepers:

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Miami

Emily Lillard

90:00

5

4

Florida

Taylor Burke

90:00

4

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Summary:

UM

UF

 

Shots

12

9

 

Shots on goal

9

5

 

Fouls

10

20

 

Saves

4

5

 

Corner Kicks

4

1

 

Offside

1

0

 

 

Cautions:

Kathryn Williamson, UF (40:44), Tessa Andujar, UF (53:07), Miami bench (53:07), Jasmine Paterson, UM (54:37), Blake Stockton, UM (59:50)

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