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Melanie Booth hit a free kick at 73:28 for her first collegiate goal.

Friday October 8, 2004No. 14 UF Soccer Defeats Kentucky 3-0

LEXINGTON, Ky. -

Melanie Booth hit a free kick at 73:28 for her first collegiate goal.

The No. 14 University of Florida soccer team (9-3-1, 3-2 SEC) used three second-half goals to defeat Kentucky (5-6-1, 2-2-1 SEC) Friday evening in front of a UK Soccer Complex crowd of 708.

The first Gator goal came off the first penalty kick awarded to Florida this season. The penalty kick was awarded at 63:49 when UK’s Ashley Janning was given a red card after using her hand to try to prevent a Gator shot from going in the goal. Ashley Kellgren, who converted UF’s last penalty kick in the Gators 1-0 win over Tennessee in 2003 NCAA Round of 16 action, also scored on her opportunity Friday. She is second among the Gators with 16 points (five goals, six assists).

Sophomore Melanie Booth hit a free kick from just a few steps above the box at 73:28 for her first collegiate goal. Booth now has five points on the season (one goal, three assists). The free kick was awarded when UK fouled KeLeigh Hudson as she attempted to turn with the ball at the top of the box.

"Vic (Campbell, UF Associate Head Coach) has been working with me since last year on free kicks – trying to place the ball where the keeper isn’t," Booth said. "It went in today. I was surprised but not for long as my teammate mobbed me."

Florida scored late in the match at 88:40 when Stephanie Freeman back peddled to reach the cross from Jessica Young. Freeman then used the space created to head the ball into the goal, upping her season goal total to 10.

"The key for us was to stick to the game plan and keep our composure. It is always hard to play against very low pressure teams because they are trying to deny space and it can be very frustrating," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "To come out with a 3-0 win was huge. If we hadn’t kept our composure, it easily could have been a 0-0 game or we could have let them score on a quick counter. It is a dangerous game to play. After putting all of your efforts into attack, that can leave you vulnerable defensively. But I thought our center backs did a good job of organizing and our outside backs did a good job of attacking."

Friday’s match marked the return of senior Christine Johnson to the Florida lineup. Johnson last played Sept. 12 at Missouri, but missed the next six matches due to a right lateral meniscus tear. She started Friday’s match and played 64 minutes.

Kentucky was without Head Coach Warren Lipka Friday night as he was serving a one-match suspension for receiving a red card in last Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Auburn.

Florida the match, UF outshot the Kats 16-2. Jen Gardner preserved her fifth shutout of the year with saves on both of the Kats shots. In the first half, UK’s Danielle Slupski took a hard shot from 12-yards out, but Gardner dived to her left to make the save. Gardner also was able to read the hop on the ball off of Courtney McCrudden’s shot late in the match to make her other save.

The Florida soccer team continues its road trip on Sunday, Oct. 10 when it meets Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. (ET). The UF-Vanderbilt match can also be heard live on-line at www.GatorZone.com.

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