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Preseason No. 8 Florida opens the 2014 season Friday with a home match versus Miami.

Wednesday August 20, 2014Florida soccer opens season Friday with home match versus Miami

Gainesville, Fla.

Preseason No. 8 Florida opens the 2014 season Friday with a home match versus Miami.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida athletic season begins Friday when the Gator soccer team plays host to Miami on Friday, Aug. 22. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium.

 

Friday’s Match Info:

Preseason No. 8 Florida (0-0, 0-0 SEC) versus Miami (0-0, 0-0 ACC)

 

Date & Time: Aug. 22, 2014 @ 7 p.m. ET

Site: James G. Pressly Stadium (4,500)

The Coaches: Becky Burleigh, beginning 20th season @ UF (419-113-34/25th season overall – 337-90-28/UF), Mary-Frances Monroe (55-86-12/ninth season overall and 9-8-1/starting second at UM)

 

Television: none

 

Streaming video: SECNetwork+  (Available through the WatchESPN app. Must be a subscriber to the SEC Network to view SECNetwork+)

 

Internet: live stats and audio for UF-UM match available on www.GatorZone.com

 

Admission:  free for all Gator home regular-season matches

 

Promotions: Mesh Scarf Giveaway: The first 500 fans receive a Florida Soccer mesh scarf. Pizza to feed Gator students: First 250 UF students receive free pizza.

 

For a complete list of match promotions, please visit the Gator Promotions page.

 

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@UFGatorSoccer (Becky Burleigh)

 

This is the sixth consecutive year Florida begins the season with a match versus an instate rival. This is the fifth time since 2009 Florida has opened the season against Miami.

 

Florida Soccer Begins Second Decade

Season 20 begins this Friday for the Gator soccer team. The team that Becky Burleigh introduced to more than 4,400 fans at the James G. Pressly Stadium on Sept. 2, 1995 provided the foundation for a program that has made 17 NCAA appearances, which includes winning the 1998 NCAA title. Florida leads the league with 13 Southeastern Conference team titles and 10 SEC Tournament crowns.

 

Twenty different Gators have collected a total of 30 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America honors and the Gators have picked up SEC Player of the Year honors in 12 seasons.

 

Last Meeting Between Florida-Miami:

In the last season-opening meeting between the two programs in 2012, Miami jumped out to a 3-0 first-half lead and left Gainesville with a 4-1 win. In the previous four season opening meetings between the Gators and the Hurricanes, Florida leads 3-1 and the Gators lead the overall series 5-2.

 

The 2014 Gators:

The 2014 Gator team is made up of 25 players, which is fairly evenly split between upper and lower classmen, as 12 are either freshmen or sophomores while the remaining 13 are juniors or seniors. Florida returns all its starters from the 2013 team that reached the NCAA Second Round.

A pair of Gators appeared on the 2013 NSCAA All-America second-team – junior defender Christen Westphal and sophomore forward Savannah Jordan. Joining Westphal and Jordan on the 2013 NSCAA All-South Region team were midfielder Havana Solaun and goalkeeper Taylor Burke

·         Twelve of the Gators’ top 13 points contributors return in 2014, including Jordan whose total of 22 goals was just one behind the nation’s 2013 leader.

 

·         Three Gators – Jordan, Solaun and Westphal – are among the 63 Division I players on Preseason MAC Hermann Watch List. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in NCAA soccer presented annually to one male and one female athlete. The winners will be announced Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, at the trophy presentation banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

 

·         The trio also appears among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s preseason Best XI teams. Jordan is one of three forwards on the first team. Solaun (midfield) and Westphal (defender) appear on the second team.

 

·         Burke’s 2013 goals-against-average of 0.543 ranked No. 13 among NCAA Division I goalkeepers and set Gators’ season GAA record.

 

·         Florida’s returns its backline (Tessa Andjuar, Claire Falknor, Karina Gutsche and Westphal), a group which helped limit opponents to a total of 15 goals in 2013. That number of goals allowed is the lowest for UF since the 12 allowed in 2007 and is the third-lowest total in the program’s 19-year history. The Gators’ 2013 team GAA of 0.61 is the program’s third-lowest.

 

The five-member freshman class has played with state, regional, national and/or international teams, including defender Courtney Douglas. The Canadian has represented Jamaica in CONCACAF Under-17 and Under-20 play. Jessie Holmes was a four-year member of the Cal North ’96 state and Region IV ODP teams.Cassie Owens was a member of FC Boulder 18U team which won the 2013 National Premier League Champions Cup in Aurora, Colorado. Talise Romain, a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com, was member of Region II team which won ’96 age group title at the 2012 and 2013 US Youth Soccer Interregional Thanksgiving Tournaments.

Betsy Middleton joins the Gators after playing her freshman season at Miami (Florida). She appeared in each of the Hurricanes’ 18 matches in 2013, including starting the final 11. Her first collegiate goal was the overtime winner at Milwaukee.

 

Preseason Conference Votes:

Florida shared the 2013 Southeastern Conference title with Texas A&M as each team posted 9-2 league records. Miami took 10th in the Atlantic Coast Conference with its 4-8-1 league record.

Florida – The Gators are picked to win the Southeastern Conference.

Miami – The Hurricanes are picked to finish 11th in Atlantic Coast Conference play in 2014. Florida State is the preseason pick to win the ACC.

 

Rankings:

Florida is ranked No. 8 on the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.

 

 

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