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Sunday November 14, 1999UF's Soccer Season Ends with 1-0 Loss to Hartford

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida soccer team, the No. 3 seed for the 1999 NCAA Tournament and the defending NCAA Champion, was defeated by Hartford 1-0 Sunday afternoon in front of a Percy Beard Stadium crowd of 1,249. The loss ends Florida’s season at 21-2, while Hartford (17-4-2) will face Virginia in the NCAA Third Round, which was a 3-1 winner over James Madison Sunday afternoon.

Florida had not been shutout since North Carolina ended UF’s 1997 season in the NCAA Second Round with a 5-0 loss. The loss also ends Florida’s home-win streak at 17 matches. The home-match win streak began Oct. 16, 1998 with an 8-0 win vs. Mississippi State. The loss also marks the first time in the 18-year history of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship that the defending champion has not advanced to at least the tournament’s semifinal round.

The match was scoreless in the opening half, with Hartford taking a 6-5 shots advantage in the first 45 minutes. Hartford’s Danielle Korbmacher got the game-winner at 65:07, hitting a looping shot to the back corner off Anny Myge’s throw-in from deep in UF territory.

For the match, UF edged Hartford 12-11 in shots. Florida’s goal keeper Jordan Kellgren turned in five saves, while Hartford’s Ingrid Sternhoff posted six saves.

"It was definitely a tough one to swallow. In the second half, we played hard and put a lot of pressure on them. But give Hartford credit - they played well. They sustained a lot of pressure for a long time," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "One of the things that made it difficult was that they put so many people behind the ball. That made it hard to get space to break down their midfield."

Hartford has now won two NCAA matches for three consecutive seasons. The Hawks reached the NCAA Second Round in 1997 and the NCAA Third Round in 1998 (received a bye in opening round). Head Coach Mark Krikorian said his team was not intimidated by the Gators, despite the 5-0 loss to UF on Oct. 10.

"We’re not done yet. We’re hoping to take the same road that Florida took last year. I think that it’s a very hard situation to try to defend the national championship. Most people would say it's easier to win the first one than the next one. We were somewhat embarrassed when Florida came to our backyard and gave us a pretty good spanking," said Krikorian. "I think the reason we scheduled the games early in the season was to prepare for something that would be important for us later in the season. Fortunately for us, the adjustments that we made and the lessons that we learned back at Hartford seemed to be good lessons."

Play for the NCAA Third Round will be contested Nov. 19-21 at school sites.

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