Friday October 17, 2003No. 9 UF and Kentucky Soccer Play to a 1-1 Draw
Dena Floyd celebrates her goal to tie the match 1-all vs. Kentucky.
The No.9 Florida soccer team and Kentucky could only manage one goal a piece in a double overtime thriller Friday at Percy Beard Stadium. Kentucky controlled the match early but the Gators would take control and ended up out shooting the Wildcats 17-6.
Florida (11-2-1, 3-1-1 SEC) had several scoring chances in the first half. Perhaps their best when Ashley Kellgren sent a ball through the Kentucky box that just escaped a waiting Stephanie Freeman whom was camped out in front of the Wildcat goal.
Kentucky (6-5-3, 4-0-2 SEC) registered their first goal of the match 71 minutes in when Jen Wilkinson pocked through a short shot past Gator goalkeeper Brittni Goodwin.
The play, which looked more like a rugby scrum than something you would see on a soccer field, remained the lone goal until a Florida serve into Kentucky’s box found the hand of a Wildcat defender and brought the crowd of nearly 1300 to their feet.
Dena Floyd converted on her fourth penalty kick of the season, knotting the score at one with just under fifteen minutes left in regulation.
Florida has had trouble converting on scoring chances recently and this problem was again evident in both overtimes as the Gators dominated, out shooting Kentucky 6-0. Coach Burleigh thought the scoring chances were there, as well as the effort, just not the end result.
"It’s the same problem we were having against Auburn," Burleigh said. "The effort is there, we just have to find a way to finish."
Freeman found herself crowded in the midfield as Kentucky focused much of their attention to that area of the pitch, playing four players tight toward the middle. Florida countered by going over the top on their long balls, but UF still couldn’t get one across the goal. Freeman said that finishing is not necessarily something that can be perfected in practice.
"Finishing is definitely a mentality," Freeman said. "You have to willing to sacrifice your body to put the ball in the back of the net. I’m not sure that is something you can work on in practice."
For the match, UF’s Goodwin turned in three saves while UK goalkeeper Liz Butler posted seven saves.
On Sunday, Oct. 19 the Gators take on Vanderbilt, who was a 1-0 winner over South Carolina Friday in Columbia. VU is the last SEC team to defeat Florida in Gainesville, dating back to 1997. Match time is set for 1:30 p.m. and the first 750 fans will receive a Gator soccer t-shirt. The match will also be broadcast onwww.Gatorzone.com beginning at 1:30 p.m.