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Crystal Frimpon scored at 59:46 to tie the match 2-all vs. defending NCAA champion Santa Clara.

Friday September 20, 2002Florida and Santa Clara Soccer Tie at 2-2

PALO ALTO, Calif.

Crystal Frimpon scored at 59:46 to tie the match 2-all vs. defending NCAA champion Santa Clara.

No. 16 Florida (3-3-1) and defending national champion No. 10 Santa Clara (3-2-1) battled to a 2-2 tie Friday evening in the opening match of the Stanford Nike Soccer Invitational, held in front of a crowd of 405 at Maloney Field. This was the first meeting between these teams that wasn’t in the NCAA College Cup semifinal round. Florida took that first meeting in 1998 1-0 and Santa Clara defeated UF 3-2 OT last December in the semifinal held in Dallas, Texas.

There was a flurry of scoring in the opening 10 minutes of the match. The Broncos struck first at 2:51 when Megan Kakadelas took the long pass from Aly Wagner and scored off a 1v1 situation with Florida goalkeeper Jordan Kellgren. The Gators evened the match when Robin Fulton received the ball and beat her defender to bring the ball down the right side. Fulton crossed the ball back to the middle of the box, where Dena Floyd put the ball in from 10 yards. The Broncos scored again at 8:07 when Wagner hit a 30-yard shot. Wagner’s goal ended the scoring for the first half, as the Broncos took a 2-1 lead into halftime.

Florida tied the match at 59:46 when Fulton again brought the ball down the right side. Fulton served the ball across the goal and Crystal Frimpong just got enough body on it to push the ball across the goal at the far post.

"Robin crossed it in and it was right there," Frimpong said. "I wasn’t ready for it, but the ball hit my stomach and my thigh and it kind of slipped in."

The match was scoreless after the first overtime period. Veronica Zepeda did hit a eight-yard shot to the near post in the 100th minute, but Kellgren was in exactly the right place to make the stop. Kellgren came up big again with five minutes remaining in the second sudden-death overtime period when Kakadelas, looking for her second goal of the evening, took a shot which Kellgren saved. UF also had an excellent chance in the final overtime period when Frimpong tried to head the Fulton cross, but it missed just to the right.

For the match, SCU outshot the Gators 15-9. Kellgren turned in five saves, while SCU’s Alyssa Sobolik posted two saves.

"One of the reasons the result is disappointing is because we felt like we gave them that second goal. But they had some chances to score after than and we also had some good chances. But given the circumstances, a tie wasn’t a bad thing because obviously we had to come back to get the tie," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "I was proud of our team for doing that.

"But we’ve got to do a better job of coming out mentally ready to play. We just have to believe that we belong. We keep getting these results against good teams. You would think that we would start to believe that, but we really, really need to play like we believe it. I think that is still an issue for us. I think once that happens, that is sort of the missing piece. We need to have the confidence that goes along with the ability of how well we can play. I still feel that we are a bit tentative when we step onto a field with a team that’s got a better reputation. We are a good team. We are obviously proving it with the results we are getting, but we also have to believe it," Burleigh said.

Next up, Florida continues play at the Stanford Nike Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 22 with No. 2 Stanford. Match time is set for 4:00 p.m. (ET) and the audio of the match will be available live on www.GatorZone.com.

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