The No. 9 Florida soccer team held its first public event Friday evening at the UF Lacrosse/Soccer Facility where the Gators played in the Orange & Blue scrimmage. Orange took the win 5-0, with some players switching teams between the three 30-minute periods so different combos could be seen in action.
Lightning held up the start for 45 minutes but the entire match was played without any further weather delays. The goals came from five different players. Each class turned in goal, with a pair of goals coming from the juniors.
Freshman Annie Speese, junior Erika Tymrak and senior Tahnai Annis scored in the opening period. Junior Brooke Thigpen and sophomore Taylor Travis provided the goals in the final two periods.
“I was impressed with the level of play,” UF head coach Becky Burleigh said. “I liked how we were trying to play simple, with one or two touches. I thought it was a good job with good effort on both sides.”
Florida is No. 9 on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire preseason poll released Aug. 9. The Gators are the five-time defending Southeastern Conference champions and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of the last eight seasons.
Soccer will again be the first Florida team to compete this season, as the Gators open the 2011 season with four consecutive road matches. The season begins at Miami on Aug. 19 and then at Florida International on Aug. 21. The second weekend sends the Gators to Knoxville, Tenn., to face a pair of preseason top-20 teams who earned NCAA Championship berths in 2010. Florida faces No. 11 Texas A&M on Aug. 26 and then meets No. 16 UCLA on Aug. 28. The home season begins Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. versus Texas Tech.