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The Gators celebrate a goal in Sunday's 4-3 win vs. No. 19 Southern California.

Sunday August 31, 2003No. 21 Soccer Defeats No. 19 Southern Cal 4-3

Gainesville, FL

The Gators celebrate a goal in Sunday's 4-3 win vs. No. 19 Southern California.

The No. 21 University of Florida (2-0) soccer team used its speed to earn its second win of the weekend vs. a top-20 team. The Gators defeated No. 19 Southern California (1-1) 4-3 Sunday afternoon in front of a Percy Beard Stadium crowd of 1,079. The Gators opened the 2003 season Friday with a 2-1 win vs. No. 7 Penn State.

Florida was able to come out on top 4-3 thanks to two second-half penalty kicks but the match was decided by Gator speed off the corner supplied in large part by Florida midfielders Robin Fulton and Crystal Frimpong.

Southern California opened the scoring a little over four minutes into the match on a short goal by Jessica Edwards. Frimpong chipped in the equalizer 17 minutes later from 12 yards after lunging feet first just in front of USC goalkeeper Julie Peterson.

Southern California answered right back two minutes later on a goal by Rosa Anna Tantillo but when Fulton scored five minutes before the half, the Women of Troy would never lead again. Fultonís goal started deep in the Florida half. Casey Hamel headed the ball down to the feet of Dena Floyd, who sent the ball into the USC box. Fulton was able to use her speed to draw the keeper out and then hit the 10-yard shot at 40:30.

The second half was dominated by penalty kicks with Florida playing almost the entire second half one player down after sophomore Candace Rivers was ejected at 47:05 with a red card. Florida converted its two penalty kicks off the right foot of Floyd (55:49 and 76:10) and USCís Tantillo scored on a penalty kick at 79:30 for her second score of the day. However, the game ultimately came down to speed according to Florida Coach Becky Burleigh.

"The speed of our players out wide just gave them some fits," Burleigh said. "We kept telling our players find the outside, find the outside. Once we did, I think it really started to wear down USC."

For the match, USC outshot the Gators 12-9. Floridaís starting goalkeeper, Brittni Goodwin, turned in three saves. Colleen Donovan began the second half in goal for the Gators and recorded one save. She injured her right knee at 75:54 and Goodwin returned to finish the match. UF team physicians will evaluate Donovan on Monday. USCís goalkeeper Julie Peterson posted two saves.

Florida will be back in action Friday against intra state rival Florida State. Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Percy Beard Stadium in Gainesville. The first 1,000 fans will receive Gator Soccer pennants and there will be fireworks following the match courtesy of GRU.

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