Sunday October 17, 2004No. 23 Florida & Mississippi Soccer Play to 0-0 Tie
The No. 23 University of Florida soccer team (10-3-3, 4-2-2 SEC) and Mississippi (7-8-1, 3-4-1 SEC) played to a 0-0 tie Sunday afternoon in front of James G. Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,459. The match was the third consecutive overtime meeting between the two teams. Last season, Florida defeated Mississippi 1-0 2OT in Oxford, Miss., during the regular season and 4-3 2OT in NCAA Second Round play in Gainesville.
The Gators doubled the Rebels’ number of shots with a 12 to 6 advantage. After the first half, the Rebels held a 5-3 advantage in shots, but Florida came out strong in the second half, posting eight shots while UM turned in none in the second 45 minutes.
"Once again, we played well in the second half, but not in the first," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "I think it is hard to get the ball in behind when the box is packed. We’ve got to do a better job of that because that is how most teams play against us."
Freshman Daniela Sanchez made an effort at scoring in the 25th minute when sophomore Melanie Booth directed a corner kick to the middle of the line. Sanchez headed the ball, but the attempt sailed over the crossbar. Seniors Christine Johnson and Ashley Kellgren plus freshman Jasmine Johnson each had shots saved by UM’s Ann Shelton in the second half.
"We didn’t play very well in the first half. We came out in the second half with a lot more energy and intensity, but we didn’t finish our opportunities. We had several crosses go across the mouth and a lot of corner kicks that we were just not able to get on the end of," Kellgren said. "We need to work on coming out and playing an entire game. We were kind of slow in the first half. To come off of a game where we scored four goals (UF defeated Mississippi State 4-1 on Friday) and not to put any in the net today is kind of disappointing. We really need to focus on finishing our opportunities."
Senior Monica Hoyles, who tried several times to penetrate into the Rebel half from her outside back position, echoed Kellgren’s comments.
"They packed it in pretty tight because they had all their players behind the ball," Hoyles said. "That makes it tough to get down the field, especially in the middle because it was really clogged up. That is what a lot of teams do so we try to work it around the outside. We had our chances, but we were unlucky."
The Gators will travel to Baton Rouge, La., to play LSU on Friday, October 22 at 8 p.m. Florida returns to Gainesville to play Arkansas on Sunday, October 24 in the Gators’ last home match. The UF-Arkansas match is Senior Day and Florida’s four seniors – Stephanie Freeman, Hoyles, Christine Johnson and Kellgren will be honored in a pre-match ceremony.