Special report on the Florida Gators soccer team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida continues Southeastern Conference Eastern Division play with two matches. First, the Gators travel to Tennessee for a Thursday match and returns home to play host to Kentucky for a match that airs on ESPNU.
Tennessee (5-2-1, 0-1 SEC)
Date: Thursday, Sept. 21
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Site: Regal Soccer Stadium<https://utsports.com/facilities/regal-soccer-stadium/16>
Stream: SEC Network +<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/14843932-dbbf-4a31-9472-61376f9fba5e> with Michael Wottreng & Tori Beeler-Watson calling the action
Kentucky (6-0-2, 0-0-1 SEC)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 24
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Site: Donald R. Dizney Stadium<https://admin.floridagators.com/sportfile.aspx?filename=donald-r-dizney-stadium&file_date=4/4/2020>
Television: ESPNU with Alex Perlman and Marion Crowder calling the action
Radio: ESPN 98.1 FM / 850 AM<https://www.wruf.com/listen-live/> with Kyle Crooks and Matthew Stubbington calling the action
Promotion: Rowdy Reptile Day + Camper Reunion Day. Wear Orange and Orange Thunder Sticks for first 100 fans.
Bohon Rocky Top Ties:
Florida’s Samantha Bohon started her SEC coaching career as a Lady Vol assistant coach for the 2001-04 seasons. During that stretch, UT won its first two SEC titles and ranked in top 12 in the final poll of the season (2002: No. 10; 2003: No. 12; 2004: No. T11).
Florida’s Fifth Weekend:
Florida was pushing until the final horn but couldn’t find the equalizer in the Sept. 15 SEC opener versus Missouri. The Tigers opened a two-goal lead by the 19th minute with a goal by Jenna Bartels (12:30) and Kylee Simmons’ penalty kick (18:02). The lead was cut to one when UF’s redshirt sophomore Oakley Rasmussen successfully converted a PK in the 23rd minute after Tessa Barton was fouled.
The Tigers lead pushed back out to two in the 50th minute when Simmons hit her second goal of the evening. UF freshman Megan Hinnenkamp cut the lead to one when she put in the through ball from Lauren McCloskey in the 75th minute. She and fellow freshman Lena Bailey both had good looks to tie the match, including Hinnenkamp’s shot that was stopped with just four second remaining by MU goalkeeper Bella Hollenbach, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
The Donald R. Dizney record crowd for soccer (1,283) included Ben Shelton, who just a week ago was playing for the U.S. Open men’s singles title.
About Upcoming Opponents:
Tennessee was 11-6-2 overall and won the Southeastern Conference East Division for the third consecutive season with a 7-2-1 record. The Lady Vols brought in six freshmen and four transfers for 2023 to join five returning starters, which includes the SEC’s 2022 season No. 2 goal scorer Jaida Thomas (13 goals).
The Lady Vols opened the season with three consecutive wins – California (4-1), at Lipscomb (3-0) and East Tennessee State (3-1). UT also has a 2-2 tie versus Indiana and wins versus Radford and closed non-conference action with a 2-0 win at Florida Atlantic. The losses came at Southern Methodist (2-1) and in SEC opener versus No. 11 Arkansas (3-1). Sophomore Kameron Simmonds leads the Lady Vols with six goals this season. She is the second member of the 2023 Jamaica World Cup roster Florida has faced this season, including FSU’s Jody Brown.
Kentucky was 7-9-2 overall and 0-8-2 in Southeastern Conference action last season. The Wildcats’ new coach Tony Fabiano brought in 11 freshmen and 12 transfers for 2023. Senior Úlfa Úlfarsdóttir’s six goals led UK in 2023.
The Wildcats are one of 17 NCAA Division I teams unbeaten as of Sept. 17. The season opened with back-to-back wins versus Eastern Kentucky (1-0) and at Murray State (2-1). Wins also came against UT Martin (4-0), Illinois (1-0), Belmont (3-0) and at Iowa State (3-0). UK tied Valparaiso and opened SEC play at Texas A&M both by 1-1 scores. Graduate Jordyn Rhodes’ 7 goals shares the SEC lead this season.