Story written by Spencer Reed
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Despite Hurricane Irma’s fury, the Florida Gators soccer team did not miss a beat in their first game back as they went on to defeat 24th ranked Ole Miss 1-0.
The Rebels came to Gainesville as one of the nation’s 10 remaining unbeaten teams, but did not stand a chance against the Gators’ fresh legs.
Coming into today’s game, the Rebels’ defense hadn’t allowed a goal in 564 minutes. However, the Gators quickly ended that school record with a goal just over four minutes into the game.
Junior midfielder Mayra Pelayo scored the lone goal of the game following a superb assist from Melanie Monteagudo just 4:43 into the game.
Pelayo was happy to be back on the field following an eleven-day break in between matches.
“We played great,” Pelayo said. “I’m really proud of the team for being mentally tough and overcoming such a long break.”
Lockdown Defense From The Gators
The Gators’ defense stifled the Rebels’ high-powered offense tonight, especially in the first half.
Ole Miss bolsters two of the NCAA’s top three goal scorers in Channing Foster and Cece Kizer. The duo had combined for 17 goals in just eight games.
Tonight was a different story. The Gators’ defense allowed just one shot in the first half and four total in the game.
After a shaky first 15 minutes, Coach Burleigh said that the Gators settled into their game plan on defense and really played well.
“I was really happy with the shutout,” said Burleigh. “I thought we were solid defensively.”
Following their win over Ole Miss, the Gators are set to play Iowa State on Sunday and will return to conference play on Thursday as they take on #22 Texas A&M at home. The match against Texas A&M will air live on the SEC Network at 7 p.m.