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Friday November 6, 1998Florida Advances to SEC Final with 2-0 Win Over KY

Tuscaloosa, AL

The No. 4 University of Florida soccer team (20-1) defeated Kentucky (9-8-3) 2-0 Friday evening in the first semifinal match of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The win advances the Gators to their third consecutive SEC Tournament final, which is set for Sunday, Nov.8 at 3:30 (ET) at the Alabama Varsity Soccer Field. The Gators will meet Vanderbilt in Sunday's final. UF defeated VU 4-2 to win its second consecutive SEC Tournament title in 1997. Vanderbilt advanced to the final with its 1-0 win Friday over Alabama.

The Gators got on the board at 30:41 with an unexpected goal from freshman Karyn Hall. Hall took a free kick from 30 yards, which went over Kentucky goalkeeper Carrie Kuhnell’s hand and into the goal.

"I was just trying to get it close for someone to get a head on it, but then it just went in," Hall said. "I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting it to go in, but I’m glad it did."

Senior Danielle Fotopoulos scored again for the Gators late in the opening half, hitting a goal off a Kuhnell deflection.

The Gators, which had outshot the Wildcats 14-0 in the opening half, struggled to create offensive opportunities in the second half. Florida and Kentucky each posted three shots in the final half.

"We showed tonight that we lacked good mental preparation for this game. Kentucky played hard and kept us off balance with their direct style. Hopefully this is behind us now and we learn from it and move on," Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "We know we will have to really step it up Sunday if we want to be successful."

The Gators will meet Vanderbilt in Sunday’s final. The SEC Tournament final will be available live at 3:30 p.m. to Cox Cable subscribers in Gainesville (channel 8) and Ocala (channel 35).

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