Story written by Spencer Reed
After Hurricane Hermine caused the cancellation of the 2016 game and Hurricane Irma postponed the match that was set for September 8, the Florida Gators soccer team and Florida State Seminoles finally got to play their much-anticipated match.
Coming in ranked No. 16 in the nation, the Seminoles were the fourth top-25 opponent the Gators have faced this season, and they played to every bit of their potential.
The Seminoles controlled the ball at the beginning of the game, forcing early mistakes that cost the Gators big time and led FSU to a 2-0 win.
Just over one minute into the game, UF goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese picked up a ball in the box that came off the foot of a Gator defender, subsequently giving the Seminoles a free kick that Deyna Castellanos drilled to the back of the net.
With the goal coming just 1:06 into the game, it became the earliest goal conceded by the Gators all season.
Florida State went up 2-0 in the 24th minute after Gloria Villalobos bent a perfect pass through defenders to find Dallas Dorosy. Dorosy took a nice touch and hit a beautiful ball from 15 yards out to net her fifth goal of the season.
However, the Gators did not shutter when faced with adversity.
The Gators fought back throughout the end of the first half and all of the second half, edging out the Seminoles 10-8 in shots.
They just couldn’t find the back of the net, unfortunately.
“I thought we played with a lot of urgency and intensity,” said Coach Becky Burleigh. “Unlucky to not at least get one back, and probably should’ve had two in the first half.”
The Gators now have to quickly turn around and turn their focus to Sunday’s game against Auburn. Auburn is 6-4-3 overall, but 5-1-1 at home.
Auburn defeated the Gators twice last season, including once in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, in which they advanced to the Elite Eight.
Florida is a much better team when it comes to ranking and record, but last year’s momentum could very easily roll over to Sunday’s game.
Midfielder Gabby Seiler is confident that the team can make a quick turnaround.
“I think we’re very motivated going into Auburn,” Seiler said. “Obviously it’s a big SEC game, with kind of a little rivalry going on.”
Be sure to catch Seiler and the rest of the Gators Soccer team as they take on Auburn at 3 pm on Sunday. The event will be streamed on SEC Network+.