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Friday October 16, 1998Florida Soccer Team Defeats Mississippi State 8-0

Gainesville, FL

The No. 5 University of Florida women’s soccer team showcased what appears to be a bright future for the program Friday night. Led by six goals from its freshmen class, Florida defeated Mississippi State 8-0 in front of a crowd of 1,133 at Percy Beard Stadium.

Freshman Jill Stevens split through the Mississippi State defense for her first career goal, then followed up with two more goals to earn her first career hat trick, and just the 10th in Florida history.

"The first goal I was like wow," Stevens said. "Then, the other two just came to me and I was in the right place at the right time.

"I was getting frustrated because I’ve had a lot of opportunites and wasn’t scoring. It was great to finally get one."

Freshman Abby Wambach fell just short of a hat trick, scoring twice, while freshman Karyn Hall scored her first career goal as well.

Florida (13-1, 8-0) dominated play from the start, as senior Melissa Pini volleyed a shot home from 15 yards out at the 1:39 mark in the first half, the quickest goal to start a match this season for the Gators. The Gators got a Mississippi State own goal to lead at halftime 2-0.

Mississippi State falls to 2-11-1, 0-5 in the SEC.

Flordia played the match without All-American forward Danielle Fotopoulos who sat out due to an NCAA rule requiring a one-game penalty after earning a fifth yellow card for the season against Florida State Tuesday. Despite this, the Gators still managed to set a season high for goals scored.

Florida used a trio of goalkeepers to earn the shutout. Lynn Pattishall and Michelle Harris each recorded one save, while starter Meredith Flaherty shared in the victory.

Florida is in action again on Sunday, playing host to Mississippi at 2 p.m. at Percy Beard Stadium. Fotopoulos will be back in the starting lineup to continue her pursuit of the NCAA career goal-scored record. She is currently tied for first at 103 career goals with current U.S. National Team members Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett.

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