Special report on the Florida Gators soccer team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It’s another shutout win as Florida soccer moves to 2-0 in this young campaign after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Maryland at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
It is the 16th time – and first since 2019 – UF has opened a season 2-0. Florida’s now started six of its 29 seasons with a pair of shutouts, with the last coming in 2017.
It was a gritty effort throughout the match, just as Florida Coach Samantha Bohon expected. And tonight’s effort was just what the Florida coaching staff was looking for.
“We knew this was gonna be a gritty effort because Maryland didn’t get the result they wanted on Thursday so we were ready for battle and that’s exactly what we got. I think the game had ebbs and flows of who was on the front foot but at the end of the day, if you would have told me that we would kind of gut out a win this early in the season, that’s really encouraging for me because we always kind of have our foundation on that mentality of that blue collar work rate. You saw that tonight for us to get a result against a good Maryland team.”
The only goal of the match came six minutes after freshman Lena Bailey entered the match.
The first goal of Bailey’s career started in the 41st minute with a throw-in at the top corner of the box. Bailey received the ball, spun to distance her defender and then took a couple of steps before sending a right-footed shot to the far corner.
“I just got the ball, took a touch and I hit it back post,” Bailey said. “I didn’t even know what to feel [after the goal]. I was just running back but there was definitely a lot of emotion and joy in that moment.
A combined effort on a pair of shots by UM’s Lauren Wrigley helped keep the Terrapins off the scoreboard in the final three minutes. Wrigley’s first shot was blocked by UF junior Madison Young. Then UF senior goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg made the stop at the back post on Wrigley’s second attempt.
Goldberg is encouraged about what she’s seen from the team in the opening weekend.
“With two wins under our belt, that’s definitely going to help us keep the ball rolling. It give us the confidence to keep putting together the connections through each area of the field and to do what Sam [Bohon] is planning for us to do throughout the season,” Goldberg said.
“I’m really excited to see how we progress from these first two games because you can see the difference already in just our speed of play, our connections from the defense, midfield to the frontline, how dynamic we become. It’s really exciting to see that and I think it’s going to continue super quickly.
Florida: 2-0-0, 0-0-0 SEC
Maryland: 0-1-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten
Florida leads 2-0-1.
This is first meeting between the two teams since 1998 (7-2 Florida road win).
Florida hits the road for the first time this season, heading south to face Miami. The Hurricanes opened the season with a 3-0 road win at Stetson and returned home to tie Florida Atlantic 1-1 on Sunday.
Date: Thursday, Aug. 24
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Site: Cobb Stadium<https://miamihurricanes.com/facilities/cobb-stadium/>
2023 Florida Soccer Schedule<https://floridagators.com/sports/womens-soccer/schedule>
2023 Florida Soccer Promotions<https://floridagators.com/news/2023/8/10/florida-soccer-2023-home-promotions-schedule.aspx>
Maryland (0-1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) at Florida (2-0-0, SEC 0-0-0)
Stadium: Donald R. Dizney Stadium (712)
Weather: 87 degrees, winds ESE at 7 mph
Goals by Period
Shots: Maryland 6, Florida 10
Saves: Maryland 3 (Liz Beardsley 3), Florida 3 (Alexa Goldberg 3)
Offsides: Maryland 4, UF 1
Cautions: 83:53 – Lauren Donovan (UF) – yellow