Baton Rouge, LA - The No. 12 University of Florida soccer team (13-2-2,
7-1-1 SEC) used a goal in each half to defeat Southeastern Conference
Western Division leader LSU (6-7-4, 3-3-3 SEC) 2-0 Thursday evening in
front of a LSU Soccer Complex crowd of 773.
The Gators remain in a tie with South Carolina for the lead in the SEC,
as the Gamecocks claimed a 3-1 win at Arkansas Thursday.
The Gators got on the board early in the opening half when freshman
Taylor Travis’ right-footed strike from 35-yards scored in the upper
left corner of the goal. The goal, easily the longest of the season for
the Gators, was Taylor’s third goal of the season.
Travis said a pair of teammates pulled defenders away, leaving her with
her long-range opportunity.
“The coaches are always telling me to ‘Take them on’. Jo (Dragotta) made the run out wide and took her defender with her. L.T. (Lindsay Thompson) showed away from the ball so she took her defender with her,” Travis said. “It was like the seas parted and I saw the shot so I took it.”
A pair of Gators combined for Florida’s second goal in less than a
minute after entering the match. A ball sent out wide found Maggie
Rodgers streaking down the right sideline. Rodgers centered the ball to
sophomore Natalia Torosian just inside the box. Her strike from 10 yards scored in the upper slot at 70:26. It was her third goal of the season.
Torosian and Rodgers were just following some halftime advice.
“Alan (Kirkup, UF Assistant Coach) talked to us at halftime about taking
the ball down the line and having the players in the box go forward and
then come back and stand on the PK line and lose our defender,” Torosian
said. “Maggie had a perfect opportunity. She took it down the line and
played a beautiful ball and I just did what Alan told me to do and cut
back on the PK line. I just tried to focus and just place it in the net.”
A couple of key saves in the opening half helped keep the Tigers from
getting on the scoreboard. In the 27th minute, Ashlee Elliott cleared a
Carlie Banks shot off the line at the near post corner in the 18th
minute. Just under 10 minutes later, Fraine made a one-handed save when
Courtney Alexander pounced on a Gator defensive turnover just above the
box. Fraine also needed to make a stop on another Alexander shot in the
59th minute. Alexander’s shot through the box hit the leg of a Gator
defender and took an unexpected turn, but Fraine still had the read on
the ball and was able to make the stop at the far post corner.
UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh knew it was going to be a challenging match
and was pleased the Gators came away with a win.
“I thought it was a great win on the road, especially to get the
shutout. These games get tighter and tighter as the race gets closer to
the end. We knew this was going to be a tough one going in and it proved
to be just that,” Burleigh said. “I thought in the first 10 minutes of
the second half, LSU came out really hard. They did a good job of
putting us under pressure, but our defense did a terrific job of
weathering that. I think later in the half they sort of resorted to just
hitting the ball long and I think our defense knew that was coming so it
was a little bit easier for us to deal with. LSU is a good team. They
were dangerous and had some good opportunities.”
Florida returns home to play host to its regular-season home finale on
Sunday, Oct. 24 when Arkansas (5-9-3, 2-5-2 SEC) comes to town. Start time is set for 1:30 p.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium.
Scoring Summary: 1st 2nd Final
FloriUF: Taylor Travis (unassisted) 3:56
UF: Natalia Torosian (Maggie Rodgers) 70:26
Minutes Saves GA
Florida Katie Fraine 90:00 4 0
LSU Megan Kinneman 90:00 2 2
Statistical Summary: LSU UF
Shots 11 11
Shots on goal 5 5
Saves 3 5
Corner Kicks 3 4
Fouls 3 12
Offside 1 3