Saturday, September 6, 2014

#8 UF Soccer Upsets #2 FSU

Tonight was a glorious night for the #8 Florida Gator woman's soccer team as they upset the #2 ranked Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee by a score of 2-1. I was able to watch the second half on my phone and I was nothing less than thrilled as I watched the Gators cling on to their one goal lead to secure the upset. Regardless of what sport, it's always a great feeling when Florida beats FSU.

This win snaps the Gators' three game losing streak against FSU and also ends the Seminoles' 38 game home winning streak. The last time FSU lost in Tally was in 2011 against the Maryland Terrapins. When their streak began, I was a junior in high school!

I asked sophomore forward Savannah Jordan for her thoughts on the team's performance and she had this to say, "I think our team played great tonight. We showed a lot of fight and heart. I thought we played and worked for each other. This was another step to where we want to be and I'm extremely proud of my team! I'm excited to continue the rest of the season!"

Jordan's offensive talents would not be needed this game. Instead, it was fellow sophomore midfielders Pamela Begic and Betsy Middleton who put the Gators on the scoreboard first with a goal a piece in the first half. Both goals would be the first of both players' seasons. Begic's other offensive contribution came in the form of an assist on Middleton's goal. In regards to Begic's goal, senior Tessa Andujar provided the assist.

Defensively, goalkeeper Taylor Burke came ready to play tonight. She had five saves and allowed just one goal as she notched her fourth win of the season. Down the stretch in the 70th, 76th, 83rd, and 85th minutes, Burke made some clutch saves to help preserve the Gators' one goal lead. As a senior who had never beaten FSU before, Burke has got to be feeling great after her performance tonight.

This game serves as sweet revenge for the Gators after the 3-0 thumping the Seminoles handed them last year in Gainesville. The Gators' odds of winning this year looked no better as the Seminoles were coming off a National Championship appearance, were ranked #2 in the country, and virtually never lost at home. That is why they play the game.

I think it is absolutely fitting that the Gators ended FSU's home winning streak. It's great for these seniors and it's a great early season win for the team. Hopefully, Florida will ride the momentum from this win into their next game against another tough opponent in #4 Stanford on September 12. This will be another road game for the Gators and game time is approximately 10:30 p.m. I'll try to catch this game if I'm not too busy.

As for Florida State, they will have to recover from this crushing upset as their next game is at home on September 8 against the St. John's Red Storm. Game time is 7 p.m. and I expect St. John's to feel the wrath of a very angry/motivated Seminoles squad.

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