Special report on the Florida Gators soccer team:
BATON ROUGE, La. -Florida soccer opened Southeastern Conference play Thursday with a 3-0 win at Louisiana State.
Weather delayed the SEC opener, as a weather front moved in just before match time. The lightning progressed into a downpour, causing a two hour delay for the start at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
Florida Coach Becky Burleigh was looking for the Gators to get on the board in the first 22 minutes of Thursday’s SEC opener. The Gators met that goal with 38 seconds to spare. Senior Tess Sapone’s lofted ball found the head of reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week Vanessa Kara. Her header scored at 21:22.
Kara scored again early in the second half. From just inside the Florida half, Sammie Betters saw Kit Loferski wide on the right sideline. Loferski caught up with the ball Betters sent and then jetted past her marker to bring the ball deep into the box. Kara’s outstretched foot just beat her defender at 47:16 to score on the cross from Loferski.
Loferski added a goal in the 62nd minute. From the center circle, freshman Ava Kuyken sent the ball to the right sideline for Loferski. She brought the ball into the box, created some space with a step over. Loferski then scored from 16 yards with a left-footed shot.
* Vanessa Kara has now scored five goals in the last three matches. She claimed the SEC Offensive Player of the Week honor on Monday after scoring the first three goals of her Gator career in UF’s wins versus Florida Gulf Coast and Miami.
* Kit Loferski, who leads the Gators in 2019 with four assists, added her second goal of the season to close out the Gators scoring tonight.
* Florida is now 19-5-1 all-time in SEC openers.
* These two teams have played challenging schedules this season. In the Sept. 16 NCAA Toughest Schedules report, Florida’s ranks No. 2 and LSU is T-6.
Florida: 5-4-0, 0-0-0 SEC
LSU: 2-5-1, 0-0-0 SEC
What the Gators Said:
About tonight’s performance:
“I think it is never easy to go on the road in the SEC, get a shutout and score three goals. I think we could have been a little more clinical in our finishing as we definitely had some great chances. But to endure a two-hour delay and to be able to come out with the urgency that we did, I’m really proud of our team.” – Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh
Florida continues league play next week with home and road contests.
Thursday, Sept. 26 versus Missouri.
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Site: Donald R. Dizney Stadium
Streaming Video: SEC Network + with action called by Kyle Crooks and Matthew Stubbington
Radio: GatorVision with action with action called by Ryan Urquhart
Live Stats<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_sidearmstats_wsoc_summary&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=BrrjbFx0bA-Nv7utMekcVGx8bI-2I5Q9m5HjZNwY_10&s=W7mAvEop1-v6n9d__p_OUydwu978Xt0KpReQshGXsXw&e= >
Promotions: Replica T-shirt Giveaway – In honor of the 25th season of Gators Soccer, the first 250 fans in attendance will receive a throwback jersey t-shirt.
Sunday, Sept. 29 at Vanderbilt.
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Site: Vanderbilt Soccer / Lacrosse Complex<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__vucommodores.com_facilities_vanderbilt-2Dsoccer-2Dlacrosse-2Dcomplex_&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=BrrjbFx0bA-Nv7utMekcVGx8bI-2I5Q9m5HjZNwY_10&s=Bxq1Cw-VJTE5lt5a8XoPbsJYhwyrQIpGuQ_xRdwJ0-k&e= >
Television: SEC Network
Radio: GatorVision with action with action called by Kyle Crooks
Live Stats<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__stats.statbroadcast.com_statmonitr_-3Fid-3D268304&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=BrrjbFx0bA-Nv7utMekcVGx8bI-2I5Q9m5HjZNwY_10&s=5SaFpsnovm8xkCPZSOj6Ecg6GkwReX9_XEge8UdL1aM&e= >
Florida (5-4-0, 0-0-0 SEC) at LSU (2-5-1, 0-0-0 SEC)
Stadium: LSU Soccer Stadium (464)
Weather: 81 degrees, winds ESE at 7 mph, 78% humidity
Goals by Period
Shots: Florida 24; LSU 6
Saves: Florida 3 (Susi Espinoza 3), LSU 10 (Emma Grace Goldman 10);