September 18, 2014,
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The University of Florida soccer team finishes a six-match road stretch Friday when it opens Southeastern Conference play at Alabama. Match time is set for 8 p.m. ET at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
Watch the match live on SEC Network+<http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1973274/NCAA-Womens-Soccer-Florida-vs-Alabama> or hear Adam Schick's call at GatorZone.com<http://www.gatorvision.tv/liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?&&DB_OEM_ID=6500>.
This will be the second consecutive season Florida and Alabama open SEC action facing each other.
All the scoring was provided by then Gator freshmen when Florida took a 3-0 home win in the 2013 meeting between Florida and Alabama. Both opening half goals came off the right foot of Savannah Jordan. Her first from five yards came off assists from Lindsey Cooper and Havana Solaun. Then she scored on a 12-yard shot off assists from Meggie Dougherty Howard and Brooke Smith. Liz Slattery headed in her first collegiate goal off the cross from Tessa Andujar to give Florida the final margin.
In Florida's Final Weekend of Non-Conference Play:
In the nation's only match last weekend featuring a pair of top-10 teams, the then No. 6 Gators lost 1-0 in overtime Friday at No. 4 Stanford. The game-winning goal came when a penalty kick was awarded at 92:47. Lo'eau LaBonta converted the kick to push Stanford's 2014 record to an unbeaten 5-0-1. The Gators had their chances, with many coming in the opening half. Florida's defense was solid to withstand a SU push to keep the match scoreless in regulation.
The Gators finished non-conference play with a 4-0 win at New Mexico on Sunday. Junior Lauren Smith<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=93> put in the deflection off a Savannah Jordan<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=102> shot at 13:36 for her first goal of 2014. The first shot of the second half was a Gator goal when senior Annie Speese<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=87> found sophomore Brooke Sharp<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=100> just above the box. Sharp began her run through the box, evaded the UNM goalkeeper who had come out to make the stop, and continued her run to score at 47:00. Jordan recorded her first double-goal match of the season, scoring in the 36th minute after intercepting a pass between the UNM backline. She earned her eighth career multi-goal match when she put in the through ball from Sharp during the 83rd minute.
Crimson Tide Soccer in 2014:
The Tide is 4-2-1 in 2014, winning its last two matches by 2-0 scores (Jacksonville State and UAB). Florida will be the second ranked opponent faced by UA this season, falling 3-0 to then No. 3 Virginia on Sept. 5. Theresa Diederich leads the Tide with 12 points this season off of four goals and four assists. In the SEC preseason coaches vote, the Tide is picked to finish 12th overall.
Florida: 5-2, 0-0 SEC
Alabama: 4-2-1, 0-0 SEC
Preseason Conference Votes:
Florida shared the 2013 Southeastern Conference title with Texas A&M as each team posted 9-2 league records. Alabama took 12th in the SEC in 2013 with its 4-7 record.
Florida - The Gators are picked to win the Southeastern Conference.
UA - The Crimson Tide is picked to take 12th in the SEC.
Florida is ranked No. 7 on the fourth National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll<http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/3286/NCAADivisionI/women/Poll4>.