Columbia, SC - A free kick goal with seconds remaining in the opening
half was all the No. 8 University of Florida soccer team (15-2-2, 9-1-1
SEC) needed to claim its 11th Southeastern Conference title. Florida
took a 1-0 win at No. 17 South Carolina (14-4-2, 8-2-1 SEC) Friday
evening in front of a Eugene E. Stone III Stadium crowd of 2,548 – the
sixth largest ever to watch a women’s match at USC. The SEC title is the fifth consecutive for the Gator program.
The first goal of the match came just before halftime. Florida was
awarded a free kick with 10 seconds remaining, but the referee stopped
the clock with five second showing to allow the teams to set up. Senior
Nicky Kit took the shot from 20 yards. It hit the near post and kicked
in with just two seconds showing on the scoreboard clock. The goal was
Kit’s second on the year.
Before the kick, Kit had a feeling it was going to score.
“The clock was stopped so I told myself to take my time and I went
through everything Coach Vic (Campbell) taught me: to use my leg, don’t aim – just kick it because you know where you are going to kick it,” Kit said. “I knew I was going to score.”
“There is this feeling of energy,” she said. “It is like a clearing and
everything goes quiet. That was literally what it was. It was very
exciting. I was so happy to help my team.”
The Gators’ three seniors – Ashlee Elliott, Katie Fraine and Kit – were
a part of a SEC championship team every year of their Florida careers.
For Elliott and Fraine, the number is five SEC titles as Elliott
redshirted the 2009 season and a broken finger sidelined Fraine for the
UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh, the only coach in the program’s 16-year history, said this win was big for the team.
“It feels great. I am really, really happy for the seniors. Nicky scored
the winning goal. Ashlee and Katie won their fifth SEC title, which is
unprecedented,” Burleigh said. “So it is just really exciting for our
“It was a hard-fought battle and we would have expected nothing less,”
she continued. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy going on the road in
the SEC with two top teams playing against each other. We are really
excited to have a SEC title in our hands.”
The Gators now head to the SEC Tournament which begins Wednesday, Nov. 3 in Orange Beach, Ala. Florida will open play at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 3 versus Vanderbilt. The Gators have won eight SEC Tournament titles with the last coming in 2007.