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Stephanie Freeman scored the only goal of the match in the 86th minute in UF's 1-0 win at Alabama.

Friday September 24, 2004No. 7 Florida Soccer Opens SEC Play with 1-0 Win at Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.

Stephanie Freeman scored the only goal of the match in the 86th minute in UF's 1-0 win at Alabama.

The No. 7 University of Florida soccer team (7-1-1, 1-0 SEC) opened Southeastern Conference play with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Alabama (4-5, 0-1 SEC) Friday evening in front of an Alabama Soccer Complex crowd of 543.

Two Gator scoring attempts were saved off the line by Alabama defenders, but Florida finally got one over the line at 85:22. Stephanie Freeman headed in an Ashley Kellgren corner kick to up her season goals total to eight.

"Once again, it was a perfect ball off the corner from Ashley," Freeman said. "I actually thought that I timed my run poorly. I was there a little bit early, but fortunately I got a tiny piece of it to redirect it to the far post. I thought it was in and then they (Alabama) kicked it out. But the referee signaled a goal, so we knew for sure it was in."

The two teams were scoreless in the opening half. The Gators had two excellent scoring opportunities within two minutes of the later portion of the first half. Freeman dribbled the ball down the left side and beat the Alabama keeper, but the Tideís Suzanne Baker saved the shot off the line in the 34th minute. In the next minute, Kellgren looked to score off a cross into the box, but Laura Lowman made the save.

A Tide defender stopped one other Gator scoring attempt in the 56th minute. Melanie Booth crossed the ball into the box, looking for freshman Nikita Waller making the run. Wallerís shot to the far post was saved off the line by Chelsea Stang, who was injured on the play. Stang was examined by the UA Athletic Training staff and eventually returned to the match.

"It is always interesting playing at Alabama," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "We finally got the goal late. Itís a good win. It is tough to come here and win. Every time you play during the SEC season, you are going to get a teamís best shot. It was a great effort by Alabama Ė they played really hard."

Florida travels to Auburn, Ala., to meet the defending SEC Western Division champion Tigers on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. (ET). The UF-Auburn match can be heard live on-line at www.GatorZone.com.

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

Florida

0

1

1

Alabama

0

0

0

Scoring:

UF Ė Stephanie Freeman (Ashley Kellgren) 85:22

 

Statistical Summary:

UF

UA

Shots

12

10

Saves

5

6

Corner Kicks

6

4

Fouls

14

7

Offside

1

2

 

 

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