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The Gators celebrate a goal in their 4-1 win Sunday versus Georgia.

Sunday September 23, 2012Gator Soccer Defeats Georgia 4-1

Gainesville, Fla.

The Gators celebrate a goal in their 4-1 win Sunday versus Georgia.

Goals by four different Gators gave the University of Florida soccer team (6-3-1, 3-1 SEC) a 4-1 win over Georgia (5-5-1, 1-2-1 SEC) Sunday afternoon at the James G. Pressly Stadium. It was the biggest offensive output by the Gators this season.

 

Sunday’s SEC Scores

Florida 4, Georgia 1

Missouri 2, Vanderbilt 0

Mississippi 1, Alabama 0

Arkansas 1, South Carolina 1 2OT

Kentucky 2, LSU 1 2OT

Tennessee 6, Mississippi State 0

Texas A&M 2, Auburn 0

After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, the Gators clicked off four unanswered goals in a 25-minute span, beginning when senior Holly King scored off a corner kick in the 55th minute. The ball sent by sophomore Annie Speese to the far post was headed in by King.

 

A last-second adjustment led to the Gators first score.

 

“Annie Speese was hitting a corner and my run was going to be center but the ball was going further out,” King said. “I saw that the goalkeeper was on near post so I headed it in far post.”

 

King has used her head to score off a set piece now for three consecutive Sundays. She headed in free kick goals versus New Mexico and at Auburn. It was her third goal of the season, matching her career high set in 2009 and matched in 2011.

 

Another Gator, Havana Solaun, scored her third goal of the season Sunday. Freshman Claire Falknor was fighting with a pair of Bulldogs for control of the ball at the six-yard box off the deflection of Adriana Leon’s shot. Falknor pushed the ball into space where Maggie Rodgers quickly played it to the top of the box. Solaun took the shot from 14 yards which scored at the far post corner at 64:29.

 

“The forwards were working really hard to keep it in front of the goal and Maggie [Rodgers] kind of had the ball. I said to her ‘set, set,’ and she turned around and I laid it off,” Solaun said. “I just tried to keep it low and put it into the back corner.”

 

The Gators were awarded their third penalty kick of the last four matches after the Bulldogs were called for a handball in the box as they tried to clear a Rodgers’ cross. Senior Jo Dragotta scored off the PK – the first goal of her collegiate career.

 

Goal scoring predictions is an amateur art among the Gators as they share among themselves when they get a feeling about who is going to score. Dragotta got those predictions, but it wasn’t until the second match of the weekend that they proved prophetic.

 

“It was really exciting. It is kind of funny because a couple people came up to me before the Tennessee game and said they had a feeling I was going to score. And then when I didn’t score I was like, ‘Dang it, I lost my chance,’” Dragotta said. “Then our manager KeLeigh [Hudson] came up to me before this game and said I was going to score. Then the PK happened and I was said I wanted to take it.”

 

The Gators got their final goal from sophomore Jillian Graff in the 79th minute. From the end line, freshman Brooke Smith sent a low pass to Graff, located at the corner of the six-yard box. Her shot hit the cross bar and banged down into the goal. It was her second goal of the season.

 

Georgia’s Tori Cooper broke up the shutout attempt when she scored from 12 yards in the 86th minute.

 

Execution was the key today that allowed the Gators to be successful against the Bulldogs’ high defensive line, Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh said.

 

“It’s not about motivation, it was really about execution.  We didn’t really want to get them fired up - we needed to get them to relax and execute,” Burleigh said. “That’s the difference between this year and last year. I mean we’re not going to work our way through this bunker. We’re going to be smart enough to play through this bunker.

 

“The goals were good goals; really good plays, smart decisions, good balls spread across,” Burleigh continued. “We had some other opportunities that we failed to finish but ultimately I think we created enough opportunities to get the goals that we did get.”

 

Florida’s starting goalkeeper, Taylor Burke, faced no shots on goal in her 79 minutes played. She was replaced by freshman Valerie Tysinger for the final 11 minutes. Georgia senior Ashley Baker recorded four saves Sunday.

 

A sprained left ankle suffered in Friday’s 2-1 win against Tennessee put senior All-American Erika Tymrak on the sideline for today’s match. She joined fellow senior All-American Kathryn Williamson who suffered a torn meniscus Sept. 2 versus FIU. Both players were on the minds of those on the field.

 

“Our team stepped up a lot. Everyone stepped up their own role. Obviously, those were big-time players that were missing but we have other players that are perfectly capable of filling their positions,” Dragotta said. “It was a great win for us today.”

 

Florida finishes out September competition next weekend with a pair of home matches versus SEC Western Division opponents. Mississippi (9-2, 2-2 SEC) faces Florida Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. and then Arkansas (4-5-1, 1-2-1 SEC) comes to town for a Sunday, Sept. 30 match set for 1 p.m. The Rebels posted a 1-0 win Sunday at Alabama and Arkansas tied South Carolina 1-1 2OT.

 

Live streaming video of both matches is available via GatorVision. The matches can also be heard on ESPN 850/900, by simulcast on Cox Channel 946 (Gainesville/Ocala) or on www.GatorZone.com with Adam Schick and Matthew Stubbington calling the action.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

 

 

 

Georgia

0

1

1

 

 

 

Florida

0

4

4

 

 

 

 

Scoring:

UF: Holly King (Annie Speese) 54:30

UF: Havana Solaun (Maggie Rodgers) 64:29

UF: Jo Dragotta (PK) 68:37

UF: Jillian Graff (Brooke Smith) 78:56

UGA: Tori Cooper (Mackin D’amico) 85:59

 

Goalkeepers:

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Georgia

Ashley Baker

90:00

4

4

Florida

Taylor Burke

78:56

0

0

 

Valerie Tysinger

10:36

0

1

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Summary:

UGA

UF

 

Shots

4

17

 

Shots on goal

1

8

 

Saves

4

0

 

Fouls

16

17

 

Corner Kicks

2

5

 

Offside

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cautions: Rebekah Perry, UGA/yellow (70:51)

 

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