Florida Gators soccer advances to SEC semifinals

Special Report on the Florida Gators soccer team:

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – An early goal stood 83 minutes as Florida soccer upset No. 10 Vanderbilt 1-0 in Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinal play Tuesday evening at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

With the win, Florida moves ahead to its 21st SEC Tournament semifinal to face Arkansas or Mississippi in Thursday’s SEC Tournament play. That semifinal is the first of the day and airs live on the SEC Network at 4:30 p.m. ET<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.espn.com_watch_-5F_id_3434538_2018-2Dsec-2Dsoccer-2Dtournament&d=DwIFAw&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=6rE5tdi7fd67Uz1A6HxO6kU8qgTifZuiyAn52MXip9Y&s=hshy5WJqeWlHSrHa9Y0HtuSGW1Z0O88BTyfuZE7i0Rs&e=>.

Tuesday’s Action:
The only goal of the match started when Mayra Pelayo sent the ball ahead to fellow senior Laís Arajuo in middle of the box. The touch off Araujo’s leg popped up and then it was a foot race between sophomore Madison Alexander and VU goalkeeper Lauren Demarchi. Alexander got enough of her right toe on the ball to send it toward goal. It caught the lower part of the cross bar and banged it at 6:20 for UF’s earliest goal of the season.

The Commodores had their opportunities, but the Gator defense kept making the stop. Florida senior goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese made a pair of one-handed second-half saves – including off an eight-yard header by Kaylann Boyd and an 18-yard dipping shot by Grace Jackson – to preserve the shutout.

Both teams recorded 11 shots and each goalkeeper turned in four saves.


·         With her first-half score, Alexander now leads the Gators with six goals in 2018.

·         Marckese extends her Gator career solo shutouts record to 29 with tonight’s result. She took sole possession of the record last Thursday with the 3-0 win over Arkansas in the SEC regular-season finale.

·         This the second consecutive year the No. 8 seed sent the SEC Tournament’s top seed home in quarterfinal play. The SEC began tournament seeding based on regular-season finish in 1999. Since then, the No. 8 seed upset the top seed four times in quarterfinal action (2002, 2011, 2017 and 2018).

·         Florida played without senior Sarah Troccoli Tuesday, as she was suspended due to receiving a red card in the second half of Sunday’s match versus Auburn. Sunday’s match was the 90th UF played in her collegiate career and Troccoli had appeared in each one.

2018 Records:
Florida: 7-9-4, 4-4-2 SEC
Vanderbilt: 15-3-1, 8-1-1 SEC

Series Record:
Florida leads 27-3-1.

The Gators are now 8-0 versus the Commodores in SEC Tournament action.

Next Up:
2018 Southeastern Conference Tournament play continues Tuesday in Orange Beach, Ala. Each match of the SEC Tournament airs live on the SEC Network.

FIRST ROUND: October 28

Match 1 – LSU 3, Missouri 2 2OT

SEC Network

Match 2 – Florida 1, Auburn 1 2OT (UF 2-1 PK)


Match 3 – LSU 1, Tennessee 1 2OT (LSU 7-6 PK)

SEC Network

Match 4 – South Carolina 2, Texas A&M 1

SEC Network

Match 5 – Florida 1, Vanderbilt 0

SEC Network

Match 6 – Arkansas vs Mississippi

8:30 pm

SEC Network

SEMIFINALS: November 1

Match 7 – W Match #5 vs W Match #6

4:30 pm

SEC Network

Match 8 – W Match #3 vs W Match #4

7 pm

SEC Network

FINAL: November 4

Championship – W Match #8 vs W Match #7

3 pm

SEC Network

Vanderbilt (15-3-1, 8-1-1 SEC) at Florida (7-9-4, 4-4-2 SEC)

Orange Beach Sportsplex

74 degrees, winds SE 9 mph, 79% humidity

Goals by Period















Goal Scorer






Madison Alexander

Laís Araujo, Mayra Pelayo

Beat keeper to ball, hit crossbar to fall in

Shots: UF 11, VU 1

Saves: UF 4 (Kaylan Marckese 4), VU 4 (Lauren Demarchi 4)

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.