Florida Gators soccer knocks off Kentucky in overtime

Special report on the Florida Gators soccer team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The first Gator goal for sophomore transfer Julianne Leskauskas proved to be golden.

Florida won 1-0 in overtime over Kentucky on a perfect fall evening Thursday at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Thursday’s Scoring:
There were opportunities for both teams but it was a trio of sophomores who helped the Gators get the winning goal in the 92nd minute.

From just above the box, Delaney Tauzel sent the ball right to catch Leskauskas on the run. Leskauskas immediately touched the ball forward to Maddy Rhodes in the middle of the box. Her hard, left-footed shot was blocked, deflecting to Leskauskas now near the end line. Her sharp angled shot hit the crossbar and then the far post to fall in.

Did You Know:

*   Florida last played three consecutive overtime matches in the final three matches of 2006 regular-season action.
*   Last time UF turned in three consecutive shutouts? In matches No. 7, 8 and 9 of the 2019 season.
*   Tonight’s result was the fourth shutout for sophomore goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg.
*   This was Florida’s fifth overtime match of 2021. UF is 1-1-3 in those contests.

2021 Records:

Florida (2-5-3, 1-0-1 SEC)

Kentucky (6-3-2, 0-2 SEC)

Series Records:
Florida leads 25-5-3

Thursday’s SEC Scores<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.secsports.com_scores_soccer&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=oFm6z6Hgn8Tj0c3GZ2Ad-y3IDCrtTVCOB0PkkIGE9oI&s=3_E1Jrs6b9eaUeiQPMUBWW11F6xkmUdVv2abyP9xYmA&e= >

What the Gators Said:
On the victory:
“It feels great. The team is really happy but we’re really excited for Jules (Sophomore midfielder Julianne Leskauskas). She transferred here in the summer really late and has had a tough go of it with some setbacks. She returned to training this week. To get back in there and score the game winner, we are really excited for her. We know she is a great player and has a bright future ahead of her. This will springboard her forward. The win is awesome for the team and we’re excited for Jules.” – Florida Head Coach Tony Amato

On the golden goal:
“It feels really good putting the ball in the back of the net. It was a whole team effort working to get the ball in the back of the net. It felt very, very good.” – sophomore Julianne Leskauskas

On what went through her mind when the goal went in:
“Wow! There were no thoughts in my mind. I could not believe it just happened. I was in shock. I am still at a loss for words. It was a shocking moment.” – sophomore Julianne Leskauskas

On Alexa Goldberg’s play this season:
“Alexa Goldberg is a star in the making. She is an absolute brick wall and does not let anything go into the net. She is an absolute superstar. We would not be where we are with goals against without her. She is a rock in the back.” – sophomore Julianne Leskauskas

On solidifying the defense after facing the nation’s top-two ranked teams:
“Those games (against North Carolina and Florida State) forced us to get tougher in and around the box dealing with situations and blocked shots. We take pride in defending those areas and we were put under a lot of pressure in those two games. We could have gone the other way coming out of those games by feeling defeated and not improving. I thought our team responded really well to those two games. Credit goes to our players for working hard at it and spending time on it. We still have to get better at it, but we’ve had three shutouts in a row. You have to be a competitor to shut down those opportunities.” – Florida Head Coach Tony Amato

Next Up:
Florida continues SEC play Sunday at Mississippi State. In Thursday’s meeting of Bulldogs in Athens, Ga., Georgia and Mississippi State finished in a 2-2 double overtime tie.

Sunday, Sept. 26

*   Time: 7 p.m. ET
*   Stadium: MSU Soccer Field <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_sports_2020_4_4_donald-2Dr-2Ddizney-2Dstadium.aspx&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=oFm6z6Hgn8Tj0c3GZ2Ad-y3IDCrtTVCOB0PkkIGE9oI&s=75GMV2f8b9Av0Xl6BmJBnUSs897VgQaP16h4kDNKztc&e= >  (500)
*   Radio: ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM / 850 AM<https://www.wruf.com/listen-live/> with Kyle Crooks and Matthew Stubbington calling the action.
*   SEC Network +<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.espn.com_watch_player-3Fid-3Ddf404bed-2Df230-2D4da7-2D9211-2Dcfa5e50913ea&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=oFm6z6Hgn8Tj0c3GZ2Ad-y3IDCrtTVCOB0PkkIGE9oI&s=3HPzjAXjmToKRhsu6bde217blx2caIKoXwkDu-k1gVQ&e= >
*   Tickets: Free
*   Live Stats<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__stats.statbroadcast.com_statmonitr_-3Fid-3D352486&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=oFm6z6Hgn8Tj0c3GZ2Ad-y3IDCrtTVCOB0PkkIGE9oI&s=zfGSRNIeT6RYRTziYt6IPdO0LC0F_4tuz2S2UrU6r5U&e= >

Kentucky (6-3-2, 0-2 SEC) at Florida (2-5-3, 1-0-1 SEC)

Stadium: Donald R. Dizney Stadium (334)

Weather: 77 degrees, NNW winds at 5 mph, 56% humidity




















Julianne Leskauskas

Maddy Rhodes

Shots: Kentucky 19, Florida 13

Saves: North Florida 3 (Laura Nielsen 3), Florida 6 (Alexa Goldberg 6)

Cautions: Nicole Vernis-UF / yellow (49:33)

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.