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Junior Dena Floyd provided assists on two Gator goals Friday.

Friday September 6, 2002UF Soccer Defeats No. 8 Connecticut 3-2

Gainesville, FL

Junior Dena Floyd provided assists on two Gator goals Friday.

The University of Florida soccer team took advantage of its opportunities in the opening half of play, leading to a 3-2 win over No. 8 Connecticut Friday evening. The win brings the Gators’ record to 1-2, while the Huskies drop to 2-1 overall.

Florida took three shots during the opening half and all were scored as goals. Senior Danielle Murphy got the Gators on the scoreboard in the 11th minute, hitting a 27-yard shot off a freekick. It was the defender’s second career goal and first since early in the freshman season. Junior Crystal Frimpong hit her second goal of the season at 29:08, hitting the six-yard shot off a breakaway down the right side of the field. The final Gator goal of the match came just over two minutes later when junior Dena Floyd’s pass found Megan McMillan running down the left side. McMillan tapped the ball in from 20-yards at 31:26. It was McMillan’s third collegiate goal and first since her freshman season in 2000.

The Gators saw their 3-0 halftime lead threatened in the second 45 minutes, as Kristen Graczyk scored off a 10-yard shot at 48:04. Kristi Lefebvre put in an eight-yard chip at 68:06 to bring the Huskies within one, but UConn could not find the equalizer.

For the match, UConn outshot the Gators 11-8. Florida goalkeeper Jordan Kellgren turned in six saves, while UConn’s Maria Yatrakis posted two saves.

"It was a great win for us. One and two doesn’t sound that great, but it sure sounds better than zero and three, particularly with UConn being ranked so high. I thought were really opportunistic at the beginning of the match. We took advantage of the opportunities we did have, but I thought late in the match we got away from our game plan. That is something that we really have to get better at because we almost tried to give that game away," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "You have to give credit to UConn. I think they came out a little harder in the second half and were more focused."

The Gators played in front of a Percy Beard Stadium crowd of 2,089 – the biggest crowd the team has seen this season.

"Playing at home is huge," Burleigh said. "There is just a comfort level being here, knowing that your fans are behind you. We have great fans and they really cheer us on and it makes a big difference to our players in terms of the support they get.

Next up, the Gators play host to No. 7 Nebraska on Sunday, Sept. 8 for the adidas Showdown. The first 1,000 fans for Sunday’s match receive a t-shirt compliments of adidas. Sunday’s match is the first of five Gator matches that will appear live on Sunshine. Mick Hubert, the Voice of the Gators, and Andy Warner will call the action. Match time is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Percy Beard Stadium and admission is free.

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