Special report on the Florida Gators soccer:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two goals within 30-second span provided all Florida soccer needed to take a 2-1 win over Missouri Thursday evening at the James G. Pressly Stadium.
Thursday’s win is the 400th for the Gator program. It is also the 400th UF win for Becky Burleigh, who has led the program since its debut in the 1995 season.
Florida wore pink Thursday to show their support in the fight against breast cancer. This was Florida’s ninth “Kicking for the Cure” match (first in 2009).
How the Goals Were Scored:
Florida scored twice in a span of less than 30 seconds in the opening half.
The first started when Gabby Seiler drove endline. Her short pass found Parker Roberts moving into the six-yard box. Roberts one-touched the ball in for her third goal of the season at 12:10. It was her first since scoring the game-winner versus Syracuse on Aug. 27.
Florida won the ball quickly when play started after the goal. Seiler brought the ball down the middle and sent it ahead to Deanne Rose, located six yards above the box. Rose’s square ball found Mayra Pelayo making a run down the right side. Pelayo took a couple of touches to bring the ball just outside the width of the box. Her right-footed curler scored at 12:36.
The Tigers narrowed the lead to one goal in the 57th minute when Madison Lewis scored on a 25-yard free kick.
For the match, Florida led 18-6 in shots, with half of UF’s shots being on goal. Missouri’s Kristen Rivers turned in a season-high seven saves Thursday.
· Florida’s first two goals by Roberts and Pelayo came in a span of 26 seconds. That is the second time in the last three matches Florida has scored consecutive goals in the span of two minutes. In the Sept. 24 win versus Alabama, Rose and Pelayo scored in a span of 1:19.
· More on the 26-second span. It ties for the eighth shortest time between goals in UF’s 23-year history. The last time there was a shorter span came in 2008, when 25 seconds elapsed between Florida’s fourth (Megan Kerns) and fifth (Lindsay Thompson) goals in a 6-1 win at Alabama. It was the 10th time Florida has registered consecutive goals in a 30-second span.
· Seiler turned in her first double assist match of her Gator career. She now leads the Gators in points (14) and shares the assists lead (5) with Briana Solis.
· A single goal or tie has decided five of the seven meetings between these two teams since Missouri joined the Southeastern Conference for the 2012 season. Florida leads the all-time series 7-1-2.
400 Wins for Gator Soccer:
Thursday’s win gives Florida an all-time record of 400-105-32.
In the first year of Gator soccer (1995), there were 189 women’s NCAA Division I teams (now grown to 332 teams).
Since 1995, five programs reached 400 wins. Among those five, Florida is the only one to start its program in 1995.
The number gets narrower for coaches with 400 NCAA DI wins since 1995. Only two have reached that milestone in the last 23 seasons:
Over the span of the last 23 season, Florida soccer has accumulated:
o 1998 NCAA title (only soccer program to win NCAA DI crown in year four of existence)
o 14 Southeastern Conference titles (leads the league)
o 12 SEC Tournament titles (leads the league)
o 20 NCAA appearances
Gator players honors:
o 21 United Soccer Coaches All-Americans with 36 honors
o 45 Gators claiming 88 All-SEC honors
o 13 Gators named SEC Player of Year 15 times
o 15 United Soccer Coaches Scholar Athletes All-Americans with 20 honors
Florida: 10-2-0, 4-1 SEC
Missouri: 5-8-1, 1-4 SEC
What the Gators Said:
On her 400th win at UF:
“I think that it just means you’ve been at some place for a really long time and had a lot of consistency and a lot of great players that have come through.” – Florida Head Soccer Coach Becky Burleigh
On the urgency in the opening of the game:
“I definitely thought it was one of our best starts, and honestly even the overall game, even though the score might not reflect that, but I thought we played really well. I thought we created some great opportunities.
“I credit their goalkeeper and their backline for saving a couple off the line. That game easily could have been blown open by the chances we created, and I just thought the patience we showed, especially around the box, was really, really good.” – Florida Head Soccer Coach Becky Burleigh
On the meaning of wearing pink tonight:
“I told our team before the game started, this has always been a cause that is dear to my heart. My mom had breast cancer. One of our former player’s mom just had breast cancer surgery today. So it was really meaningful for me today in particular because of that.
“I think if you ask pretty much anybody on our team almost everybody has been affected by it in some way, and I think that it’s just nice to play for something bigger than yourself sometimes.” – Florida Head Soccer Coach Becky Burleigh
On Seiler’s positional changes tonight:
“She is a difficult player to track. I wouldn’t want to have to defend her. She played some great balls across the six, and she did some stuff tonight that I think makes her just so difficult to deal with, and it was unfortunate that she didn’t score because she certainly deserved to.” – Florida Head Soccer Coach Becky Burleigh
On coming out strong:
“I think with time, we haven’t really been playing with each other that long, but we are starting to settle in with playing with each other. So I think all of that coming together is kind of what came together tonight especially the first half.” – senior midfielder Gabby Seiler
On how important it was to set the tone early:
“Our past games haven’t been really good at going in strong in the first 30 minutes. So I think it was really critical for us to have this momentum really early in the game. I think this is one of the best first halves we have had in a while, and I think it set the tone for the whole game.” – junior midfielder Mayra Pelayo
On the first 15 minutes:
“It was so critical because lately we’ve really struggled getting up in the first 15 minutes. We’ve kind of sat back and let other teams come at us. So I think it was really important for us to go at Mizzou tonight right off the bat and set the tempo.” – sophomore midfielder Parker Roberts
On wearing pink tonight:
“Pink is my absolute favorite color. So I was so happy the whole day. It meant a lot. Everyone was just playing for something else tonight because breast cancer affects so many lives and probably everyone here. I know it has affected my life and people in my life. So I think everyone was just really excited to play for something else. Everyone just had a different spirit about them tonight.” – sophomore midfielder Parker Roberts
Preseason Conference Votes:
Florida tied for third in the 2016 SEC regular-season standings and won the SEC Tournament title. The Tigers finished fifth in the SEC in 2016 at 6-4 and posted a final record of 11-7-2.
· Florida – The SEC coaches picked the Gators to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference title<http://floridagators.com/news/2017/8/14/florida-is-picked-to-win-in-sec-soccer-coaches-preseason-vote.aspx?path=soccer>.
· Missouri – The Tigers are picked to place fourth in the SEC.
Florida ranks No. 9 on the United Soccer Coaches (USC) poll<http://unitedsoccercoaches.org/web/Rankings/College_Rankings/NCAA_DI_WOMEN/web/rankings/ncaa/di_women.aspx>.
Florida is at Vanderbilt (9-3-1, 4-0-1 SEC) Sunday. Match time is set for 1 p.m. ET at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex.
Vanderbilt won 2-0 at Kentucky in Thursday’s league action.
Watch Sunday’s action on SEC Network +<http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3176412/florida-vs-vanderbilt-w-soccer> or listen to Kyle Crooks call on GatorVision.com<http://floridagators.com/watch/?Live=833>.
Missouri (5-8-1, 1-4 SEC) at Florida (10-2-0, 4-1 SEC)
Stadium: James G. Pressly Stadium (714)
Weather: 79 degrees, winds NE 14 mph, 72% humidity
Goals by Period
Tap-in from 5yds
Deanne Rose, Gabby Seiler
10yds from right side
25yd free kick
Shots: Missouri 6, Florida 18
Saves: Missouri 7 (Kristen Rivers 7), Florida 3 (Kaylan Marckese 3)