Florida soccer loses first game to UCLA

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 8 Florida Gators soccer team suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday in a 2-0 match against No. 15 UCLA in the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic at the Regal Soccer Stadium.

The Gators (3-1) were held scoreless for the first time this season by the Bruins (3-0), and gave up goals in the 35th and 71st minute with the latter coming after a Florida turnover.

“I’m disappointed that we lost, but was encouraged by a lot of things that we saw,” Florida head coach Becky Burleigh said. “One goal was off a turnover, once again, so that is obviously something that we’ve got to spend some time on. I think that we are capable of cleaning some of that up. This is just a step in the progress.”

Although the Gators had multiple opportunities to convert on the offensive end, they ultimately could not get past the UCLA defense.

“We had great chance and ultimately, you’ve got to stick those chances,” she continued. “It was great to see that we can create opportunities against a team the quality of UCLA, but the next step is finishing those chances.”

At the end of the classic, three Gators were named to the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic All-Tournament team in Jazmyne Avant, Erika Tymrak and Kathryn Williamson.

The Florida soccer team will now open the home season on Friday against Texas Tech at 7 p.m., at the James G. Pressly Stadium.

Admission will be free, and Gator All-Americans and 2011 U.S. World Cup players Heather Mitts and Abby Wambach will sign autographs post-match Friday.