October 5, 2014,
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas - Three goals from three different Gators gave the University of Florida soccer team a 3-1 win Sunday at Arkansas on a perfect fall day in front of a Razorback Field crowd of 1,177.
Sunday’s match featured the final two Southeastern Conference teams with unbeaten records, as the Gators entered with a 4-0 SEC record and the Razorbacks were 2-0-2 in league play. Sunday’s win keeps the Gators at the top of the SEC standings with six matches remaining in their league schedule.
A diving header from sophomore Liz Slattery<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=99> put the Gators on the board in the 23rd minute. After taking a corner kick, Annie Speese<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=87> moved to the top corner of the 18-yard box. Havana Solaun<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=86> sent the ball to Speese and she sent a bended ball to the middle of the box where Slattery just beat her defender to score her second goal of the season.
The second goal of the weekend from Savannah Jordan<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=102> gave the Gators a 2-0 halftime lead. Tessa Andujar<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=76> crossed the ball from the endline to the middle of the box. Jillian Graff<http://www.gatorzone.com/soccer/bios.php?year=2014&player_id=81> sent the ball forward where Jordan caught it off the bounce with her left foot to put it in from six yards.
The Razorbacks cut the lead to a single goal in the 62nd minute when Arkansas’ season goals leader Ashleigh Ellenwood put in the ball off the scrum following an Arkansas free kick.
The first goal of the season for Andujar pushed Florida’s lead back out to a pair of goals in the 81st minute. She ran down the ball outside the Razorback box, made a few moves to create some room between her and the defender to bring the ball into the box and then sent a left-footed shot to the far upper corner.
Today’s Gator Stars:
* Andujar turned in a goal and an assist today - the first time she put a notch in both columns during a collegiate match. It was the fourth goal of the defender’s Gator career and the assist ups her team-leading total to six for 2014.
* Jordan has scored a goal in each of the last four matches, with three (including today’s) being scored as the game-winner. She leads the Gators this season with nine goals.
* Slattery’s diving header today gave her two goals in 2014 and a total of four during the sophomore’s Gator career. Two of her four collegiate goals have come off of headers.
Florida: 10-2, 5-0 SEC
Arkansas: 6-3-4, 2-1-2 SEC
What the Gators Said:
How do you think the Gators handled the challenge offered by Arkansas?
“I think this is a team that is very difficult to play against because they really want to push the pace, they want to create mayhem. I thought for big stretches of the game, we did a really good job of not allowing them to do that.
“I think we responded well with the third goal. We gave up some unnecessary fouls which gave them set-piece chances and we know they are very dangerous on those. I think we needed to find our way again as far as keeping possession and getting back into our rhythm. Once we did that, we felt a lot more comfortable.” - Florida head coach Becky Burleigh
Tessa Andujar had a goal and an assist today. What did you think of her performance today?
“That was a great goal. We talked at halftime how they were giving her the inside. So instead of taking it to the endline and serving, we told her to go inside. She took advantage of that - it was a great finish and a great goal.
“I think teams really fear her because they stand off of her because they are afraid to get beat 1v1. She’s gaining a lot of respect around the country for what she’s doing.” - Florida head coach Becky Burleigh
Liz Slattery made her second start of the season and turned in a goal.
“The diving header was awesome. We always say in practice that diving headers count double. Unfortunately in the real games they don’t. We wanted her to match up with [Ashleigh] Ellenwood in the air because Liz is one of the best players on the team in the air.” - Florida head coach Becky Burleigh
You got the Gators’ first goal. What happened on your goal?
“We had a corner kick and Annie Speese and Havana [Solaun] went out for a short corner. Havana played it to Speese and she dribbled it a little bit to the corner of the 18. She bent the ball in and I headed it near post for a really good goal.” - sophomore midfielder Liz Slattery
What happened on your goal?
“Originally, we had a pretty good buildup in the midfield and the ball went out to Tessa. She beat her player down the line and crossed it. It went over my head so I turned around and Jillian [Graff] crossed it back in. I turned and finished it to the far left corner.” - sophomore forward Savannah Jordan
That goal came off your left foot. Describe what happened on your goal.
“Lauren Silver crossed in the ball and it went back post. I thought ‘shoot, I should be there,’ so I ran after it. Everyone went to the back post so that drew away the defenders. I just cut it back inside and then hit it with my left foot. Actually, before the second half, Meredith [Flaherty, Gators’ volunteer coach], told me to hit it with my left foot and score. Afterwards, I went up and thanked her for telling me to hit it with my left foot.
“I’m usually a right-footed player. Everyone’s been telling me to cut inside and shoot with my left foot. So a lot of my teammates and coaches have been giving me encouragement to shoot it because I’m not usually one to shoot the ball.” - senior defender Tessa Andujar
How do you think the Gators played today?
“I think we played really well. We stuck to our style of play and we kept the ball. The Arkansas team came at us really hard and it was a really good game but it was a good win too.” - - senior defender Tessa Andujar
● Today’s meeting at Arkansas was the fifth consecutive SEC meeting for Florida versus an opponent with an unbeaten league record. Here’s a look at the league records for Florida’s first five SEC opponents entering the match:
● Andujar’s score today gives Florida 12 different players to score in 2014. That equals the second highest number of Gator goal scorers through the opening 12 matches of the last 10 seasons (14 different players scored through 12 matches in 2005).
● This weekend, Florida played a pair of teams (Texas A&M and Arkansas) which both advanced to 2013 NCAA Third Round action. So far through 12 matches, five of Florida’s opponents advanced to last season’s NCAA Championships’ field.
● Florida is now 19-0 all-time versus the Razorbacks, including 8-0 in Fayetteville.
Florida is ranked No. 6 on the sixth National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll<http://www.nscaatv.com/rankings/3446/NCAADivisionI/women/Poll6>.
The Gators return home to play host to Mississippi State (3-9, 0-5 SEC) on Friday, Oct. 10. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium<http://www.gatorzone.com/facilities/jgpressly>. Admission is free for all Gator regular-season home matches. The match streams live on the SEC Network+.