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Sunday September 27, 1998Hat Trick by Wambach Leads Gators Over Kentucky

Lexington, KY

A hat trick by Gator freshman Abby Wambach led the No. 5 University of Florida soccer team to a 3-0 win over Kentucky Sunday afternoon at the UK Soccer Complex. Florida continues to extend its best-ever start in school history to 8-0, 4-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while Kentucky drops to 3-3-2, 1-2 in the SEC.

Wambach recorded the first Gator hat trick of the season and the first for UF since Andi Sellers posted one against Auburn on Oct. 31, 1997. She found the net on each of her shots Sunday, scoring the first early in the match at 6:14. Senior All-American Danielle Fotopoulos served up the cross to Wambach, which set her up for a short shot from the right side. Wambach’s second goal came at 56:30 when she found the upper left corner of the net from 16 yards. Her final goal was the most dramatic, hitting the diving header at 80:39 to get her first collegiate hat trick.

"Abby took some nice shots today," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "We did seem a little flat today, which may be because we played an emotional match Friday at Vanderbilt. We hoped that everyone would get a chance to play today and we were able to get everyone in the match. We played a little bit different system today, which may have contributed to some disorganization, but we have a week of practice to work those problems out."

For the match, Florida outshot the Wildcats 16-5. Three Gator goalkeepers played in Sunday’s match, with Meredith Flaherty starting, Lynn Pattishall replacing her at half and Michelle Harris subbing in at 70:00. Harris recorded one save for UF, while UK keeper Carrie Kuhnell posted eight saves Sunday.

Next up, the Gators continue their road trek by traveling to College Park, Md., to meet Maryland on Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.

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