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Stephanie Freeman scored UF's only goal in a 1-0 win Friday versus No. 24 Rutgers.

Friday September 17, 2004No. 9 Florida Soccer Defeats No. 24 Rutgers 1-0

Gainesville, FL

Stephanie Freeman scored UF's only goal in a 1-0 win Friday versus No. 24 Rutgers.

Stephanie Freeman scored the game-winning goal, her third of the season and seventh of her career as the No. 9 Gator (5-1-1, 0-0 SEC) soccer team defeated No. 24 Rutgers 1-0 (4-3) in front of a James G. Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,084.

Both teams went scoreless in the first half, which featured a 17 minute delay due to blown fuse, with Florida’s first shot on goal coming in the 10th minute. Both defenses put in an excellent performance not allowing the ball to leave midfield for most of the half.

"I think our frustration in the first half was that we just weren’t connecting passes," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "We had good ideas, but then we would just miss-play the ball. Part of that was because we tried to come out with energy, and sometimes energy and finesse don’t mix. In the second half, we altered our line-up a bit, playing a 4-5-1, which I felt took away a lot of their [Rutgers] strength, which is the center of the field."

In the second half, Florida put the first and only score of the game on the board at 66:37 as Daniela Sanchez fed a pass to KeLeigh Hudson, who found Freeman open in the box. Freeman, recording her seventh goal of the season, slipped a six-yard pass just past Rutgers goalkeeper, Robyn Jones.

"First of all, I had an amazing ball from KeLeigh," said Freeman. "Those are balls that you just dream of. A perfect ball with good timing because the keeper came out and I was able to just slip it behind her. The balls that I am getting from my teammates are amazing and I feel like I just have to finish those every time."

Rutgers continued to battle against Florida’s solid back line till the very end but to no avail, as Florida walked away with the victory. Despite out shooting the Gators 7-4, Rutgers was not able to capitalize, slipping to 4-3 on the season.

"I think this [tonight] was a great, great test," said Burleigh. "Rutgers is a very underrated team. They will do some damage in the Big East for sure. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that team within the top ten in the near future and so to come out with a 1-0 result against a potential top ten team, we are excited about that."

Florida altered its lineup for the game placing junior Jen Gardner at goalkeeper in her first collegiate start in the position. Gardner recorded her first collegiate shut-out and save as a Gator in goal.

" I was pretty nervous because since I started here at Florida I have been a field player," said Gardner. "It was pretty nerve racking going in goal because you have to approach it very differently mentally and in your preparation."

Florida continues home action at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, as they take on the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-4) in the final match of the non-conference season. Sunday's match will be shown on GatorVision On-Line, a very high-quality streaming video available at both dial-up and DSL/Cable speeds. In addition, the video will be accompanied by the live webcast broadcast. For just $24.95, fans can order the season package, which includes the seven-match schedule of GatorVision Online soccer programming. Fans can also purchase fans can also purchase separate soccer events on an individual price basis of $6.00 per match. For more information, go to the official website of the Florida Gators, www.GatorZone.com.

Florida’s match can also be heard on www.GatorZone.com

 

 

 

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