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Abby Wambach turned in her eighth career hat-trick in the Gators' 6-0 win vs. Mississippi State.

Friday October 26, 2001No. 15 UF Soccer Defeats Mississippi St. 6-0

Gainesville, FL

Abby Wambach turned in her eighth career hat-trick in the Gators' 6-0 win vs. Mississippi State.

The opening half scoring effort gave the No. 15 University of Florida soccer team (12-3-1, 7-1 SEC) a 6-0 win over Mississippi State (10-7, 3-4 SEC) Friday evening in front of a Percy Beard Stadium crowd of 989. The six-goal opening half was the eighth time in the program’s history that the Florida record for goals in a half was equaled.

Florida senior Abby Wambach turned in three goals Friday evening, marking her eighth career hat-trick and first of the 2001 season. She got the Gator scoring effort going at 8:08 when she hit an eight-yard header off a long service from junior Danielle Murphy. She got her second header of the evening at 22:41, as she connected on a three-yard header off a Casey Hamel corner kick. It is the fourth time in the last three matches that Hamel has assisted on a Wambach goal. She completed the hat-trick with a short shot off a Karyn Hall corner kick at 25:55.

Freshman Christine Johnson turned in her fifth goal of the season at 16:07. Several Gators took swings at the ball in the box, but it was Johnson that finally got it across the goal line for the two-yard tap-in. Junior Kara Rao hit the Gators’ third goal of the match at 21:51. It was her second goal of the season and second goal in as many matches. Rao put the rebound in from three-yards and Johnson was credited with the assist. Florida’s scoring finished at 43:56 when sophomore Dena Floyd hit her first collegiate goal. Floyd intercepted a MSU clear attempt and scored off a 25-yard left-footed blast to the top of goal.

For the match, Florida outshot the Bulldogs 27-4. UF’s starting goalkeeper Jordan Kellgren turned in one save in 45 minutes of play and Regan Wiesemann played the final 45 minutes in goal for the Gators. MSU’s starting goalkeeper Krystal Werges turned in two saves in 22 minutes and Stephanie Lyon posted seven saves in 68 minutes. The Gators set a school record with 17 corner kicks, bettering the previous record of 16 last recorded on Sept. 24, 1997 vs. LSU. The shutout was seventh for the Gators this season and fourth in league play.

"Getting the shutout was all we talked about at halftime. We told them that the first half was fun to watch, but let’s get the shutout. I said it about six times, maybe seven," Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "Mississippi State’s Jessi Moore and Amy Van Zandt are good players and our team knew that they would have to play well against them. When they were in the game, we knew we had to be on our toes."

Next up, the Gators play host to Mississippi on Sunday, Oct. 28. A win Sunday would guarantee the Gators a share of the 2001 SEC title. Match time is set for 12:30 p.m. at the Percy Beard Stadium and admission is free.

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