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Friday September 25, 1998Florida Defeats Vanderbilt 2-1

Nashville, TN

The No. 5 University of Florida soccer team spoiled the ceremonies for the first match played at Vanderbilt’s Soccer Complex, defeating the No. 17 Commodores 2-1 Friday night in front of a VU record crowd for soccer of 889. Florida now extends its best ever season start to 7-0, 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while Vanderbilt suffered its second consecutive loss, falling to 6-2, 2-1.

Senior All-American Danielle Fotopoulos scored both goals for the Gators Friday. The first came off a header set up by Abby Wambach’s cross from the right corner at 38:33. Florida went up 2-0 at 62:40 when Fotopoulos perfectly placed the ball to have the penalty kick find the net untouched. The penalty kick, the first for the Gator this season, was set up when junior Sarah Yohe was fouled in the corner of the box.

"I knew that is I got there in front of the keeper, I had a good chance for a shot," Fotopoulos said about her first goal. "There was a long wait before the penalty kick. She (VU keeper Lauren Whitt) took a while to prepare, then I had to go through in my mind where I wanted to place the ball."

"I’m glad we came away with a win," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "Winning the SEC is always our first priority because that is our ticket into the NCAA Tournament. I’m a little bit concerned how we played during the match. You have to give credit to Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt made some late adjustments that allowed them to score that goal. We just didn’t made a counter-adjustment."

Vanderbilt’s Kim Szurovy scored at 82:02 off a goal keeper deflection. The Commodores could manage only one more shot as the final minutes ticked off. For the match, Florida outshot VU 16-9. Florida goalkeeper Meredith Flaherty recorded seven saves for the match, while VU’s Lauren Whitt had seven saves.

Next up, the Gators meet Kentucky on Sunday, Sept. 27 in Lexington, Ky. Match time is set for 12:30 p.m.

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