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KeLeigh Hudson scored the golden goal in UF's 2-1 win Friday at South Carolina.

Friday October 29, 2004No. 18 Florida Soccer Wins in OT off KeLeigh Hudson Goal

COLUMBIA, S.C. -

KeLeigh Hudson scored the golden goal in UF's 2-1 win Friday at South Carolina.

Freshman KeLeigh Hudson scored the golden goal in the 105th minute to give the No. 18 University of Florida soccer team (13-3-3, 7-2-2 SEC) a 2-1 victory over South Carolina (8-8-2, 2-7-2 SEC) Friday evening in front of a Eugene E. Stone III Stadium crowd of 429. The win was the first overtime victory for the Gators in the teamís five overtime contest this season.

Florida gained momentum as overtime play continued. Cherry Pickman spied Hudson making a run toward the box and she placed the ball perfectly in Hudsonís path for a 1v1 situation with the goalkeeper. Hudson took two touches and then placed the ball in the right corner. The USC goalkeeper, freshman Lindsay Thorstenson, was a teammate of Hudsonís at Pope High School in Marietta, Ga.

"Cherry got that ball through and she saw me on the run cutting in front of my defender. I just took a couple of touches, looked up, picked the right corner and put it in the back of the net," Hudson said. "The team was ecstatic because we havenít won in overtime this season. We were all pretty tired, but we all wanted it. We didnít want to come out of here with a tie."

The Gatorsí first shot of the match didnít come until the 37th minute, but it was a Florida goal. Senior Ashley Kellgren beat the Gamecock defender to bring the ball along the endline. She centered the ball and Lindsey Affolter flicked the ball to the middle of the box. Stephanie Freeman headed the ball to extend her Southeastern Conference goal lead to 14 for the season.

The Gamecocks scored on their first shot of the second half as Amanda Thurberís pass found Courtney Cobbs making the run toward the box with a single defender on her. She took the shot and hit on the run the 16-yard shot to the far post to tie the match.

The Gators looked to have scored as the final seconds ticked off in the first overtime period. Florida was awarded a corner kick with 45 second remaining in the first overtime. Kellgrenís kick found the head of UF goalkeeper Jen Gardner, who had left the UF goal to give the Gators more of a presence in the USC box for the corner kick. Gardnerís header beat the USC keeper, but the Gamecocks made a team save to keep the score knotted at 1-1.

UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh was not happy with Floridaís performance Friday.

"I didnít think we deserved to win. I though South Carolina out played us. But I thought we did do well in the overtime. We put pressure on them and got the go-ahead goal. KeLeigh (Hudson) showed good composure to finish on the breakaway. It was a difficult game motivationally for our team because they knew the outcome wouldnít have any affect on our SEC standing, but we should be stronger than that mentally."

For the match, USC outshot the Gators 15-13, although the Gators held a 5-3 advantage in the overtime periods. Gardner turned in six saves while Thorstenson posted three.

SEC Tournament play begins Thursday, Nov. 4 in Auburn, Ala. The Gators, seeded No. 3 for the tournament, will play the No. 6 seed. That team will be determined after the conclusion of Fridayís SEC regular-season play. The match can be heard live on-line at the official website of the Florida Gators at www.GatorZone.com to get full details.

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