Special report on the Florida Gators soccer team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida soccer closes non-conference action with a pair of road matches.
Action begins Thursday when the Gators meet Charlotte for the first time. The first ranked opponent – at No. 5 Florida State – closes UF’s non-conference slate on Sunday. These two programs faced each other for each program’s debut match in 1995 and Sunday’s match is the 29th in the series (FSU leads 15-13).
Date: Thursday, Sept. 7
Time: 5 p.m. ET
Site: Transamerica Field<https://charlotte49ers.com/sports/2016/7/29/welcome-to-transamerica-field.aspx?id=2383>
Admission: $10 – general; $7 – youth<https://charlotte49ers.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventInfo?ticketCode=GS%3AATHLETICS%3AGC2324%3AWS04%3A&linkID=uncc-athletics&shopperContext=&pc=&caller=&appCode=&groupCode=WSOCSINGLE&cgc=&dataAccId=724&locale=en_US&siteId=ev_uncc-athletics>
Date: Sunday, Sept. 10
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Site: Seminole Soccer Complex <https://seminoles.com/facilities/seminole-soccer-complex/6>
Florida’s Third Weekend:
The Gators continued unbeaten play through Week 3 of 2023 action with a 1-1 tie at Kennesaw State.
It is the fifth time – and first since 2010 – UF has opened a season unbeaten through the opening five matches.
* Just like in Florida’s last match, freshman Megan Hinnenkamp opened the scoring in the first half. Junior Madeline Pirrello won the ball from an Owl midfielder and then drove through the middle of the field. Her pass found redshirt junior Tori Grambo just above the box. Grambo immediately touched the ball to the right to catch Hinnenkamp in stride as she made a run through the box. Hinnenkamp’s left-footed shot scored upper shelf at the far post in the 24th minute.
* The Owls ended Florida’s record season-opening shutout streak at 425 minutes with a goal by Agata Giani in the 66th minute.
* Hinnenkamp’s performance (three goals in last two matches) earned her the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honor. A Gator has picked up a SEC Weekly honor in each of this season’s three announcements – Lena Bailey (Week 1 Freshman), Alexa Goldberg (Week 2 Defensive) and Hinnenkamp (Week 2 Freshman)
Florida in NCAA Stats Top 10
Gators are in the top 10 in two team categories<https://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/change_sport_year_div>:
Goals Against Average T5 0.200
Shutout Percentage T8 0.800
As of Sept. 3 play, 51 teams are unbeaten in 2023 NCAA Division I action. That includes five SEC programs:
South Carolina 5-0-1
and Sunday’s opponent:
No. 5 Florida State (3-0)
About Upcoming Opponents:
Charlotte was 4-11-4 overall and 2-6-2 in Conference USA action last season. The 49ers return 20 letterwinners from 2022, which includes three who earned accolades in Charlotte’s final season in Conference USA. Julia Patrum (second team) and Tash Hudson (third) both were named to All-Conference USA teams and Bailey Manfredi earned a spot on the All-Freshman team.
The 49ers opened with losses versus James Madison (3-2) and versus NC State (2-1) before posting consecutive road wins at Coastal Carolina (3-0) and at The Citadel (1-0). Charlotte tied UNC-Greensboro 0-0 and 1-1 versus Virginia Tech on Sunday prior to meeting with Florida. Emma Wakeman earned American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Week honors on Monday, Sept. 4.
Florida State was 17-3-3 overall last season and shared the 2022 Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title with North Carolina as both posted 8-2 league records. FSU advanced to the 2022 NCAA Cup, but was unable to defend its 2021 title after falling 3-2 to UNC in semifinal action. Eight Seminole starters return, including their top scorers in Onyi Echegini (11g, 6a) and Jody Brown (8g, 10a).
Florida State opened the season with wins in the Lone Star State – 2-1 at Texas A&M and 2-0 at then No. 9 TCU. The Seminoles opened home action last Sunday with a 5-1 win over South Florida and travel to Jacksonville to meet North Florida on Sept. 7. The Seminoles rose to No. 1 on latest TopDrawer soccer rankings<https://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-national-rankings/women> and are No. 5 on the United Soccer Coaches standings<https://unitedsoccercoaches.org/rankings/college-rankings/ncaa-di-women/>.