Florida Gators soccer to meet FSU on Thursday

Special report on the Florida Gators soccer team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida Gators soccer steps away from league play to meet its fourth top-25 opponent of the season – No. 16 Florida State for the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown. Match time is 6 p.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium<http://floridagators.com/facilities/?id=4>. Admission is free for all Gator soccer regular-season matches.

Hurricane Irma forced this match to move from Sept. 8 to Oct. 12. It is the second consecutive year a hurricane interfered with this rivalry, as Hurricane Hermine caused the cancellation of 2016 meeting due to the storm’s impact on the Tallahassee area.

The Florida-Florida State series has gone back and forth in recent years. After three consecutive Seminole wins in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Gators have taken the last two meetings. The Gators own a 13-10 advantage in the all-time series. This is the 15th time since 2000 and 10th consecutive both teams rank in the top 25 for a meeting.

Florida State is the third of three UF non-conference opponents to have won a NCAA Championship. Florida State won the 2014 NCAA title. Other past NCAA Championship title teams on Florida’s 2017 schedule are Stanford/2011 (Aug. 25, 3-2 UF win) and Portland/2002 & ’05 (Sept. 3, 1-0 win). Florida won the 1998 NCAA title.

Match Promotions
The first 250 fans receive a Gator Soccer performance t-shirt. Take advantage of the Thursday Soccer $1 Concession deal -12 ounce drink and a large popcorn for just $1 each.

Here’s how to follow the Gators
Watch the action on SEC Network +<http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3191887/florida-state-vs-florida-w-soccer> with Matthew Stubbington and Bernie Guenther calling the action.

Listen to Kyle Crooks call of the match on GatorVision.com<http://floridagators.com/watch/?Live=858>.

Gators in Last Week’s SEC Action:
In last week’s action, Florida claimed two league wins to move up to a tie for second in the Southeastern Conference standings. Two first-half goals in a span of 26 seconds provided all the Gator scoring in Thursday’s 2-1 win versus Missouri. Parker Roberts scored off a tap-in at 12:10 and Mayra Pelayo hit a 14-foot right-footed curler at 12:36. The 26-second span ties the eighth narrowest span between goals in UF history. The Tigers narrowed the lead in the 57th minute with Madison Lewis’ 25-yard free kick.

On a soggy Sunday afternoon in Nashville, Florida claimed its seventh shutout of the season with a 3-0 win at Vanderbilt. Freshman Deanne Rose provided a goal in each half and the foul on Rose late in the second half led to Florida’s final goal, a penalty kick by Gabby Seiler. It was Rose’s third double-goal match of the last six matches.

Rose leads UF with eight goals and 18 points. Her five goals ties for the goals lead in SEC action. TopDrawerSoccer.com placed her on its national team of the week for the second time after her performance at Vanderbilt.

About the Seminoles:
Florida State and Florida have played two common opponents – Alabama (UF win, FSU loss) and Troy (UF & FSU wins). Two of FSU’s losses have come against top 10 teams – then No. 10 North Carolina (1-0) and at No. 4 Duke (2-0).

Sophomore Deyna Castellanos leads FSU in 2017 with 10 goals and 22 points. She is among the three finalists for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2017<http://www.fifa.com/the-best-fifa-football-awards/best-fifa-womens-player/index.html>.

Three on the field Thursday are part of the 2017 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List<http://floridagators.com/news/2017/8/6/soccer-gabby-seiler-again-on-mac-hermann-trophy-watch-list.aspx?path=soccer> – Florida’s Gabby Seiler and Florida State’s Natalia Kuikka and Cassie Miller. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the highest individual honor in collegiate soccer.

Mark Krikorian is in his 13th season leading the Seminoles.

Florida: 11-2-0, 5-1 SEC
Florida State: 8-3, 3-2 SEC

Preseason Conference Votes:
Florida tied for third in the 2016 SEC regular-season standings and won the SEC Tournament title. The Seminoles tied for fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2016 at 6-2-2 and posted a final record of 14-4-4.

*         Florida – The SEC coaches picked the Gators to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference title<http://floridagators.com/news/2017/8/14/florida-is-picked-to-win-in-sec-soccer-coaches-preseason-vote.aspx?path=soccer>.

*         Florida State- Florida State is the ACC pick for conference champion.

Florida ranks No. 10 on the United Soccer Coaches (USC) poll<http://unitedsoccercoaches.org/web/Rankings/College_Rankings/NCAA_DI_WOMEN/web/rankings/ncaa/di_women.aspx> and FSU is No. 16.

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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.