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Florida celebrates Jillian Graff's (center) goal in the Gators' 3-1 win Friday over Mississippi.

Friday September 28, 2012No. 24 Gator Soccer Defeats Mississippi 3-1

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida celebrates Jillian Graff's (center) goal in the Gators' 3-1 win Friday over Mississippi.

A trio of Gators scored to give the No. 24 University of Florida soccer team (7-3-1, 4-1 SEC) a 3-1 win over Mississippi (9-3, 2-3 SEC) Friday evening in front of 1,957 at the James G. Pressly Stadium.

 

Friday’s SEC Scores

Florida 3, Mississippi 1

Vanderbilt 3, Alabama 3 2OT

Arkansas 1, Tennessee 0

Missouri 2, Georgia 1

Kentucky 2, Texas A&M 2 2OT

Auburn 4, South Carolina 2

LSU 1, Mississippi State 0

Florida’s first goal started when junior Adriana Leon ran down a ball that was headed to the end line. She was able to just get a touch on it to keep it in and then played the ball to herself. Leon then sent a centering pass to Jillian Graff at the top of the box. Graff sent it up to Taylor Travis at the top of the Rebel defensive third. Her diagonal cross found Havana Solaun making a run down the right side of the box. Solaun took the shot and Mississippi goalkeeper Kelly McCormick looked to have made the stop but the momentum of Solaun’s shot carried the ball through McCormick’s hands and past the goal line.

 

Solaun said the Gators’ patience paid off Friday.

 

“This year we are trying to be the team that scores first and not have to chase. I thought we came out strong and executed what we wanted to. We kept the ball, played it around and stayed patient. It’s always hard when teams pack the back but we stayed patient,” Solaun said. “Taylor [Travis] got it out wide, made eye contact with me and then served a great ball.”

 

She now leads the Gators this season with four goals. It was also her third consecutive goal versus Mississippi as Solaun scored both goals in UF’s 2-0 win in Oxford last season.

 

The two teams exchanged goals within the span of two and half minutes in the second half.

 

A give-and-go play led to the Gators’ second goal. Annie Speese brought the ball down the middle of the field and sent it left to Graff. Speese continued her run through the middle of the box and received the ball from Graff. She and a Rebel defender collided inside the six-yard box but she was able to touch the ball out to Graff just above the end line. Graff’s shot has just enough loft to go over McCormick’s outstretched hand and into the goal at 51:25.

 

Graff, making her first start of the season, scored for the second consecutive match as she also turned in a goal in Sunday’s 4-1 win over Georgia.

 

“I was really excited to start. A lot of emotions were going through me and I knew I had to make the best out of it,” Graff said. “I crossed the ball into [Annie] Speese and she was able to get a foot onto it but the defender blocked it. Everything kind of bounced the right way. It was a good effort by Speese.”

 

Mississippi cut the lead to one when Erin Emerson was able to touch the ball left to Rafaelle Souza just above the left corner of the box. Souza’s left-footed shot from 20 yards had just enough curl to score at the far post at 53:41.

 

Two consecutive shots set up junior Caroline Triglia’s first goal of the season as she gave the Gators some breathing room in the 75th minute. From just inside the Rebel half, Christen Westphal sent a ball to fellow freshman Claire Falknor at the middle of the 18-yard line. She touched the ball to Triglia, who was located just to her left. Triglia’s first shot was blocked by a Rebel defender but she used her right foot to hit the volley to the center of the goal.

 

The goal forced Triglia to go against her nature and show some exuberance after her score.

 

“I was dribbling it across the 18 and I shot it then the defender blocked it. It was still bouncing so I went at it again,” Triglia said. “It felt really good. I’m really shy so at first I didn’t want to celebrate but then Jo [Dragotta] jumped on me. I was so excited.”

 

Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a tie in the league standings. Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh was happy with the win and happy the Gators earned another three points in the Southeastern Conference standings. But she would have liked to see the Gators convert more of their 14 shots into goals.

 

“I think anytime you can get three points in the SEC is great,” she said. “I think that we limited their opportunities offensively. My only complaint is that we need to be more efficient with our scoring because we could have put this game away earlier.”

 

Senior All-American Erika Tymrak did not play Friday as she is still listed as day-to-day after suffering a sprained ankle in last Friday’s 2-1 win over Tennessee.

 

Florida finishes September competition Sunday when Arkansas (5-5-1, 2-2-1 SEC) comes to town. Arkansas claimed a 1-0 win at Tennessee Friday. Match time is set for 1 p.m. at Pressly Stadium. It is Youth Day and all kids and youth soccer teams are invited to the match. The first 250 kids receive a pair of Gator soccer socks.

 

Live streaming video of Sunday’s match is available via GatorVision. The match 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

 

 

 

Mississippi

0

1

1

 

 

 

Florida

1

2

3

 

 

 

 

Scoring:

UF: Havana Solaun (Taylor Travis) 14:46

UF: Jillian Graff (Annie Speese) 51:25

UM: Rafaelle Souza (Erin Emerson) 53:41

UF: Caroline Triglia (unassisted) 75:10

 

Goalkeepers:

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

Mississippi

Kelly McCormick

90:00

4

3

Florida

Taylor Burke

90:00

0

1

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Summary:

UM

UF

 

Shots

2

14

 

Shots on goal

1

7

 

Saves

4

0

 

Fouls

9

7

 

Corner Kicks

3

9

 

Offside

0

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cautions: Maddie Friedmann/UM – yellow (86:52)

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