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A trio of Gator seniors - Annie Speese (l), Havana Solaun (#19) & Jillian Graff - celebrate Graff's second goal Friday.

Friday August 22, 2014Preseason No. 8 Florida Soccer Opens Season With 3-0 Win Over Miami

Gainesville, Fla.

A trio of Gator seniors - Annie Speese (l), Havana Solaun (#19) & Jillian Graff - celebrate Graff's second goal Friday.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A pair of Gator forwards combined to give the University of Florida soccer team a 3-0 season-opening win over Miami Friday evening at the James G. Pressly Stadium.


The season debut was pushed back an hour due to weather in the area.


Double Goal Scorers in Season Openers

Senior Jillian Graff turned in Florida’s first two goals tonight in Florida’s 3-0 season-opening win over Miami. It is the second consecutive season a Gator has scored twice in the opener, as then freshman Savannah Jordan scored the final two goals in Florida’s 3-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast in the 2013 debut.


It is the seventh time in the program’s 20-year history that a player has scored twice in a season’s opening match. The 2001 opener saw a pair of Gators – Abby Wambach and Crystal Frimpong – each turn in two goals in a 5-2 win over Utah.


Double Goal Scorers in Season Openers


Goal 1

Goal II






Aimee Wagstaff

W, 4-0 vs. FSU




Danielle Fotopoulos

W, 6-1 vs. Campbell




Abby Wambach

W, 5-1 vs. FSU




Abby Wambach

W, 5-2 vs. Utah




Crystal Frimpong

W, 5-2 vs. Utah




Savannah Jordan

W, 3-1 vs. FGCU




Jillian Graff

W, 3-0 vs. Miami


 Senior Jillian Graff scored Florida’s opening two goals of the season. Her first came early after Tessa Andjuar crossed a low ball to the near post. A Miami defender tried to clear it off the line but an on-charging Graff deflected the ball and then poked it in from a yard. She hit a 10-yard right-footed shot off the ball from another pair of Gator seniors – Havana Solaun and Annie Speese – to push the lead to 2-0 in the 65th minute.


A Christen Westphal free kick from just inside midfield was mis-touched by a Miami player and flew toward the middle of the UM box. Sophomore Savannah Jordan had her eye on its trajectory the entire way, just beating her defender to put in an unassisted header in the 69th minute to push the Gators lead to 3-0.


Gators Stars

·         Graff, wearing her new jersey number of 14, scored Florida’s first two goals. It was her first double-goal match of her career and pushes her career total of goals to nine.


·         Graff scored Florida’s first goal of the season at 7:47. It was the fourth-fastest season-opening goal in the program’s 20-year history and the quickest since Gator Great Sarah Yohe set the season-opening fastest score with her goal after just 56 seconds of play of the 1999 campaign.


·         Jordan headed in Florida’s third goal. She also scored in the Gators’ season opener as a freshman in 2013.



Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC); Miami (0-1, 0-0 ACC).


The Series:

Florida is now 6-2 versus Miami. This is the fifth time in the last six years the Gators have opened the season versus the Hurricanes and UF owns a 4-1 record in season openers versus UM.


What They Said:

Gators performance in season opener:

“I was really, really happy with the way we started off. For us to do the things we did offensively in terms of our possession and then what I really liked was the way we defended as a team. I felt like we really double and triple teamed a lot which contributed to them turning the ball over and then giving us an opportunity to get the ball higher up the field. It was a great team effort and I’m really pleased with that start.” - Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh


On the performance of senior Jillian Graff:

“She had a great preseason. We’re just so lucky that we have so much depth. I think we have a lot of depth all over the place. Obviously that helps contribute to our ability to play at the pace we’re playing too. When you start seeing Savanah coming in off the bench in that situation, if I’m a Miami defender I’m probably not loving that.


“Jill’s been scoring goals in preseason for us. I think anybody will tell you that. I think she’s had a really solid camp. The way we’re playing right now it’s really unselfish. Anybody can score. People are setting each other up and it’s fun to watch.” ” - Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh


What led to her goals:

“Tessa played a really good ball into the middle on the first goal. It kind of took a couple lucky bounces and I was able to poke it in. The second one, Havana played a really composed ball to me in the box and I just found a slot in the goal and was able to post it in there.” – senior forward Jillian Graff


On the variety of options the Gators have this season:

“I think we have a fantastic front six that we attack with. And even some of our defense gets into the attack at times so we have a really dynamic forward group and midfields. It kind of opens up a lot for other players so there’s a lot of threats coming from different areas and I think everyone’s stepping up this year.” – sophomore forward Savannah Jordan


On the team’s quick start:

“I think we had a really good preseason. All throughout preseason we’ve been working on really being together as a team and working as a team on defense and working as a team on offense and I think that really carried over to this game today.” – senior forward Jillian Graff


Worth Noting
In the 20 year history of Gator soccer, Florida is now 14-4-2 in season openers and UF moved to 18-2 in home debuts.


Solaun and Speese have been in the season-opening starting lineup as sophomores, juniors and seniors.


Graff is the third on the current Gator roster to score the team’s first goal of the season, joining Claire Falknor (2012) and Solaun (2013).


Jordan has scored a goal in 15 of her 25 collegiate matches. One match into her sophomore season, her career goals total is 23.


The shutout was the 24th for Gator goalkeeper Taylor Burke. The career record for solo shutouts of 27 is owned by Katie Fraine.


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 12th in ACC. Florida State is the preseason pick to win the ACC.



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


Next up:

Florida continues home action on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. against South Florida. That match will be played at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Admission is free for all Gator home regular-season action.


The Bulls also opened their season Friday, falling 1-0 to Florida Atlantic in a match at USF’s Corbett Stadium.


The first 250 fans Sunday receive a free drawstring bag. Stop by the concession stand to get a popcorn and a 12 ounce soda – each for just one dollar.


Subscriber to the SEC Network? Watch Sunday’s match on the SEC Network+, which is available through WatchESPN. Streaming audio can be heard at

Florida Gators

Florida Soccer






@UFGatorSoccer (Becky Burleigh)


No. 8 Florida 3, Miami 0

Miami (FL) (0-1) vs Florida (1-0)


Attendance: 822


Stadium: James G. Pressly


Weather: 78 deg. Cloudy, Humidity 84%; Wind: WSW at 7 mph



Goals by Period






Miami (FL)













Scoring Summary:





Goal Scorer






Jillian Graff(1)


1 yards unassisted





Jillian Graff(2)

Havana Solaun  Annie Speese

12 yards from the left side





Savannah Jordan(1)


5 yards from the center



Shots: Miami (FL) 2, Florida 17

Saves: Miami (FL) 5 (Emilly Lillard 5) , Florida 1 (Taylor Burke 1)



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