FINAL: FLORIDA 4, LSU 1
GAINESVILLE, FL- After enduring a goal drought of nearly 700 minutes and dealing with numerous injuries, the Gators soccer team is finally hitting it’s mark. Florida defeated LSU 4-1 on Sunday and have now scored ten goals over the last two games.
Florida is now 2-1 in conference play despite a 4-6-1 mark overall. The Gators sit just one game back of first place Vanderbilt (3-0) along with five other programs.
Just 13 minutes into the game, Florida found themselves facing a deficit. LSU’s sophomore Lindsey Eaton scored her first career goal to put the Tigers ahead. Freshman Shannon Cooke set up the goal with a pass into the box that was kicked around before settling on Eaton’s foot and behind the Gators goal line.
Florid took momentum into the half as senior forward Alyssa Howell found the back of the net just two minutes before intermission. Carina Baltrip-Reyes raced through the neutral zone and into the Tigers end and sent a pass into the box which freshman Cassidy Lindley one-touched to Howell for the finish.
It took Florida less than five minutes to take the lead in the second half. Lais Araujo continued her hot streak with a touch that landed in the upper netting. Briana Solis earned the primary assist after sending the pass across the box to Araujo’s boot.
11 minutes later (61st minute), Madison Alexander scored her fourth goal of the season which is a career high for the sophomore from Michigan. Alexander put a feed from Araujo past the keeper to the near post.
Florida put the game out of reach in the 84th minute when redshirt-senior defender Courtney Douglas capitalized on a corner by Araujo for her first career goal. Araujo placed the corner perfectly into the middle of the six-yard box and Douglas headed the ball into the top of the net to put the Gators ahead 4-1.
After the match, head coach Becky Burleigh stated that the difficult non-conference slate has helped prepare this team for SEC play and praised the players for staying positive despite the adversity they faced.
- Araujo finished with a goal and two assists and leads the team with 13 points on the season. The 13 points also puts Araujo in seventh place overall in the SEC for the season.
- Alexander’s goal puts her up to ten points on the season. Alexander has scored four goals despite only attempting eight shots on the year.
- Howell has scored in the waning moments of the first half in back-to-back games. On Thursday she scored her first career goal with a header that found the back of the net. These are Howell’s first two career goals.
- Florida GK Kaylan Marckese made three saves in earning the victory in goal.
- As stated above, Vanderbilt is the only remaining undefeated team in conference play while six teams, including UF, sit one game back in the standings.
Florida will face Mississippi State on Friday at 8:00 PM. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network + and can be streamed via the WatchESPN app. The Bulldogs are just 1-2 in SEC play, but finished the non-conference schedule with a perfect 8-0 record.