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Abby Wambach scored the Gators' first two goals Sunday in UF's 4-1 win at Georgia.

Sunday October 21, 2001No. 8 Florida Soccer Defeats Georgia 4-1


Abby Wambach scored the Gators' first two goals Sunday in UF's 4-1 win at Georgia.

The No. 8 University of Florida soccer team (11-3-1, 6-1 SEC) handed Georgia (9-4-1, 4-2 SEC) its first home loss of the season Sunday afternoon with a 4-1 victory in front of a Georgia Soccer Complex crowd of 3,056 – the second largest crowd in UGA soccer history. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 25 on the latest Soccer Buzz poll.

The Bulldogs stuck first, as Ashley King flicked in an Elizabeth Metherell corner kick at 9:02. Florida’s Abby Wambach tied the match at 19:40 with an eight-yard shot that was unchallenged by the goalkeeper. Wambach’s goal was assisted by sophomore Casey Hamel’s free kick.

Wambach and Hamel again teamed up for the Gators’ first goal of the second half at 57:42. Wambach put in a short shot off Hamel’s corner kick to put the Gators ahead for good. The goal was also the 19th game-winning goal of Wambach’s career, moving her out a four-way tie for the Gator career record to sole possession of the game-winning goals record.

"We definitely spend a lot of time on set pieces. We know that we have a weapon with Abby’s heading ability and Casey’s servicing ability, so we do spend a lot of time on it," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "We talk a lot about framing the goal because even if Abby doesn’t get a clean look at it, she might keep the ball in play and that means others might have a chance at it."

Sophomore Kara Rao scored her first goal of the season at 75:58, sliding a six-yard shot just inside the near post off the loose ball in the box. Senior Andi Sellers turned in UF’s final goal at 81:40, chipping the ball over the UGA goalkeeper off the midfield free kick from Keisha Bell. It was the eighth goal of the season for Sellers.

Florida came into Sunday’s match off a 2-1 overtime loss at No. 23 Tennessee on Friday. Hamel compared the two matches following the Georgia win.

"They (the starts of the matches) were both pretty similar. We got caught off-guard a little bit and we came out a little slow. But we were definitely able to pick it up in the second half. We knew what we needed to do. The big difference between Tennessee and now is that we played with a lot of heart, we didn’t give up and we took advantage of our chances," Hamel said.

Each team turned in 11 shots Sunday and each goalkeeper – Jordan Kellgren (UF) and Ashley Lindley (UGA) each turned in two saves.

The Gators continue play vs. SEC opponents on Friday, Oct. 26 when they play host to Mississippi State. Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Percy Beard Stadium and admission is free.

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