FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the second straight Sunday, the Florida women’s soccer team earned a 1-0 Southeastern Conference victory, but this time the Gators had more reason to celebrate.
The 1-0 victory at Arkansas, coupled with South Carolina’s 1-0 loss at No. 17 Louisiana State Sunday, moved Florida into first place in the SEC standings heading into Friday’s showdown match with South Carolina at the James G. Pressly Stadium. The match begins at 6 p.m.
The Gators (13-4-2, 7-1-2 SEC) got the game’s only goal at 63:31 when Lindsay Thompson directed home a seven-yard shot – her ninth goal of the season – after feeds from Sarah Chapman and McKenzie Barney, and redshirt junior keeper Katie Fraine made the goal stand up by stopping four shots for the shutout against the Razorbacks (8-6-4, 2-6-2 SEC).
“Glad to have a shutout, glad to have a win and we are looking forward to Friday night,” Florida coach Becky Burleigh said. “I think we could have made ourselves a little more comfortable if we didn’t hit the post so many times. All we were looking for was to get three points today – that’s what we were focused on and that’s what we got.”
Lauren Hyde started the play by sending the ball in from 45 yards out to Chapman, who flicked the ball to the center of the box. With Razorbacks all around her, Barney managed to get the ball to Thomspon, who was on her right. Thompson wasted no time putting the ball in the net behind keeper Britni Williams, who also had four saves.
“Lauren had a free kick and she kicked it basically from the midfield to the box. Sarah did a good job of flicking it on, and from there McKenzie touched it and the ball was kind of bouncing around in front of the goal,” Thompson said. “I was unmarked and able to just shoot it in.”
Florida entered the match two points behind South Carolina, so the victory, worth three points, pulled the Gators ahead of the Gamecocks.
Florida had opportunities to score. One of those shots off the post came in the 60th minute when Angela Napolitano wheeled and took a 20-yard shot. In the opening half, Florida’s best opportunity came in the 30th minute when a crossing pass found Natalia Torosian one-on-one with the Arkansas keeper. But Williams blocked Torosian’s shot, keeping the Gators scoreless.
As the first half wound down, Arkansas was given a free kick just a step outside the box, but Fraine was up to the task, diving to her right as Kailey Anders tried to score to the far post. Arkansas came out firing in the second half, taking four of its seven second-half shots in the first 10 minutes. Leading 1-0, Fraine made another diving stop in the 77th minute when Arkansas’ Camille Flores took a shot after a corner kick.
“It was good to get the win. It was very tough being away,” Thompson said. “They were a good team and came out with a lot of energy. So we were really happy to get a goal and the win.”
With its victory over South Carolina, LSU is now tied for second with South Carolina (15-2-1, 7-2-1 SEC).
FLORIDA 1, ARKANSAS 0
Sunday, Oct. 25 at Fayetteville, Ark.
Scoring 1 2—F
Florida 0 1—1
Arkansas 0 0—0
UF: Lindsay Thompson (McKenzie Barney, Sarah Chapman) 63:31.
Goalkeepers Min SV GA
Katie Fraine (UF) 90:00 4 0
Britni Williams (UA) 90:00 4 1
Statistics UF UA
Shots 14 15
Shots on goal 5 4
Saves 4 4
Corner kicks 3 5
Fouls 7 12
Offside 0 1