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Megan McMillan scored the golden goal for UF Sunday at Mississippi in the 103th minute.

Sunday October 26, 2003No. 6 UF Soccer Defeats Mississippi 1-0 in 2OT

OXFORD, Miss.

Megan McMillan scored the golden goal for UF Sunday at Mississippi in the 103th minute.

The No. 6 University of Florida soccer team (13-3-1, 5-2-1 SEC) broke the scoreless time in the 103rd minute to defeat Mississippi (13-4-1, 4-3-1 SEC) 1-0 Sunday afternoon in front of an Ole Miss Soccer Stadium crowd of 519. Florida is now 3-0-1 in overtime matches this season, while UM drops to 1-2-1 in overtime matches this season.

The two teams were both looking for their first goals of the weekend as UF lost 1-0 at Mississippi State and UM and South Carolina played to a scoreless tie on Friday.

Florida got the game-winning goal from senior tri-captain Megan McMillan at 102:53. The play began with a free kick from Melanie Booth just above and wide of the box. McMillan timed her leap perfectly to head the ball over the UM goalkeeper’s hands. It was only the 11th goal scored on the Rebels this season.

"I never go near post. I usually just hang out in the back and clean up any garbage. But this time, I just felt like I needed to go near post, so I said ‘Freeman, I’m going near post.’ I needed to make that run, I felt it in me. The ball came right to my head and I just flicked it back and it went over their goalie’s hands. It was a perfect cross by Mel Booth," McMillan said. "After the goal, it was an amazing celebration. It felt good to win."

Both teams had the chances to get a score in regulation. In the 58th minute, a through ball from Stephanie Freeman was looking for Robin Fulton who was making a dangerous run in the box, but UM’s Brittany Gillespie made the stop at the last second. The Gators again looked to have an excellent chance in the 65th minute as a Florida through ball found Crystal Frimpong in stride in the box but Gillespie deflected the shot out of the box. Fulton brought the ball into the box in the 85th minute and made a beautiful cross in front of the UM goal, but no Gators could get the ball across the line. Mississippi averted a near own-goal situation in the 86th minute when an UM defender’s header went back toward the UM goal. Gillespie caught the ball teetering on the line, but the assistant referee said the ball had not crossed the line.

Mississippi also had a couple of excellent opportunities in the second half. Amy Sample found herself 1v1 in the 55th minute with UF goalkeeper Brittni Goodwin, but her shot was wide to the right. Five minutes later, Ashley Ferree found the ball at her feet in the box after a scrum in the box had Goodwin on the ground. Ferree’s shot was also wide.

"We came to the game really needing a result and I thought from the second half on we really pressured them hard. I just liked the way we played. I thought we got back to what we do best, which is, possess the ball. We were very organized defensively," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "I thought our break would come, it was just a question of when. It finally came in overtime."

For the match, Florida outshot Mississippi 17-9. Florida’s Goodwin turned in three saves while Gillespie posted nine saves.

The Gators play their final match of the 2003 regular season on Saturday, Nov. 1 when they play host to South Carolina at noon (ET). Saturday’s match is Senior Day and Florida’s four seniors – Dena Floyd, Crystal Frimpong, Robin Fulton and Megan McMillan – will be honored in a pre-match ceremony.

The UF-USC match will be broadcast over the Internet. Gator soccer fans can hear play-by-play action of the match beginning at noon. at www.GatorZone.com. The "player" software (Windows Media Player or Real Player) needed to hear the Internet broadcast is available for free at the same site.

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