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Florida claimed a 1-0 win versus Florida State Saturday in spring season action.

Saturday March 30, 2013Gator Soccer Defeats Florida State 1-0 in Spring Soccer Action

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida claimed a 1-0 win versus Florida State Saturday in spring season action.

A goal by rising junior Annie Speese gave the Florida soccer team a 1-0 win over Florida State on a perfect Saturday afternoon at the Florida Soccer Practice Field.


Saturday’s spring season match was played in three 30-minute periods. The words of UF Assistant Coach Alan Kirkup after the second period ran through the Gators’ minds for the final 30 minutes.


“At the second break, Alan told us that we need to stretch their backline because they were playing us really tight,” Speese said. “We needed to play the ball over the top.”


In the 83rd minute, rising sophomore Christen Westphal did exactly that, sending a ball from the Florida half deep into the FSU side, which Lauren Silver ran down on the sideline.


“Christen had the ball and I knew she was going to play it over the top. She played a great ball down the line and Lauren beat her defender to control the ball. Lauren played the ball to Jen (Larrick) and Jen did a great job of getting the ball to me,” Speese said. “I touched the ball and it kind of popped up into the air. That wasn’t my intention, but luckily it got past the defender. I dove and hit it with my foot and it went in at the far corner.”


Both teams had opportunities in the opening two periods. Jillian Graff’s shot in the 20th minute hit the crossbar and the attempt on the rebound by incoming freshman Savannah Jordan was stopped by the FSU goalkeeper.


In the 38th minute, the Seminoles were awarded an indirect free kick in the Gators’ box. The Gators lined the goalmouth and the FSU shot was snuffed by UF incoming freshman goalkeeper Nora Neset Gjøen. A few minutes later, FSU’s Jamia Fields intercepted the ball at the top of Florida’s defensive third and looked to take advantage of her 1v1 opportunity. Neset Gjøen made the stop to keep the Seminoles off the board.


Rising sophomore goalkeeper Valerie Tysinger also played Saturday. She ended the play in the 66th minute on a deep Seminole free kick and stopped Carson Pickett’s 16-yard shot in the 75th minute.


Speese said the Gators emphasized team defending Saturday.


“One thing we were really focusing on this week was team defending – squeezing the player with the ball and cutting off their angles,” she said. “We were much more effective with that this week.”


Florida finishes its 2013 spring season next Sunday on Orlando. The Gators face USF at 3:10 p.m. and UCF at 6 p.m.


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