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Abby Wambach's two goals Friday moved her into sole possession of UF's Career Goals Record at 67

Friday August 31, 2001UF Soccer Opens 2001 Season with 5-2 Win Over Utah

Gainesville, FL

Abby Wambach's two goals Friday moved her into sole possession of UF's Career Goals Record at 67

The No. 18 University of Florida soccer team opened the 2001 season with a 5-2 win over Utah in front of a Percy Beard Stadium crowd of 906. Friday’s match was delayed an hour due to heavy rain and lightening.

Senior Abby Wambach scored two of the Gators’ first three goals Friday, moving her into sole possession of the UF Career Goals record with a total of 67 goals. Former Gator All-American and current WUSA Carolina Courage member Danielle Fotopoulos set the previous record of 66 goals during her two seasons (1996 & ’98) with the Gators.

"I had 10 people behind me and great people on the bench," Wambach said. "It’s a great honor. I am obviously among a great list of people."

Wambach scored her first goal at 26:28, hitting a six-yard header off a cross sent in by junior Danielle Murphy. Her record-setting goal came early in the second half, when she scored off a penalty kick at 48:23.

Another Gator, sophomore Crystal Frimpong, also turned in two goals Friday. Both of Frimpong’s goals came within a seven-minute span of the second half. Her first came off a two-yard shot from a Wambach cross at 55:51. She hit her second, a 15-yard floater from the right side, at 61:31. Murphy turned in her second assist of the evening on Frimpong’s second goal.

"The first half was a little shaky, but in the second half we made our one-two combos," Frimpong said. "I felt a little more confidant after talking with the coaches at halftime."

Gator freshman Christine Johnson turned in her first collegiate goal Friday, putting in the rebound off Kelley Visentin’s shot from five yards at 30:15.

Senior Karyn Hall also set the Gator Career record for Consecutive Starts, as she made her 75th consecutive appearance in the UF starting lineup. Hall has started every match that the Gators have played during her collegiate career. She shared the previous record of 74 consecutive starts with former Gator All-American and WUSA Philadelphia Charge member Heather Mitts.

"I think we did a pretty good job of keeping possession. We knocked the ball around pretty well and we had some nice goals. For the most part, especially from the group that started the game, it was a good overall effort," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said.

The Utes scored both of their goals in the second half. Shauna Gurr-Bingham hit a 20-yard shot set up by a free kick at 53:00 and Esther Imotan scored the final goal of the match at 77:37, hitting a six-yard shot off the rebound.

In goal, Regan Wiesemann turned in one save during her 62 minutes of play and Utah’s Courtney Hills posted eight saves. Jordan Kellgren played 28 minutes of the second half, turning in two saves.

Next up, the Gators meet No. 15 Stanford on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. at the Percy Beard Stadium. Sunday’s match will air live on Sunshine. Admission is free to Sunday’s match.

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