FINAL: FLORIDA 1, AUBURN 1 (3-1 UF in PKs)
GAINESVILLE, FL- Florida soccer is moving on to the SEC Tournament’s quarterfinals after a thrilling victory over Auburn in the opening round. Florida’s senior GK Kaylan Marckese etched her place in Gators lore after leading the team to the win.
The Gators will now face #1 see Vanderbilt while trying to improve their resume for the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
Auburn controlled possession for much of the opening ten minutes forcing UF GK Kaylan Marckese to make a couple big saves to keep Florida even on the scoreboard.
Following several Gators chances, Madison Alexander connected on a penalty kick to put Florida ahead. Alexander was tackled inside the box by an Auburn defender and was awarded the PK attempt, much to the dismay of the Tigers coaching staff.
Florida midfielder Sarah Troccoli was ejected in the 57th minute after a hard tackle to an Auburn player. Troccoli retaliated to an instigation and was caught taking a slight jab at the defender as they were attempting to get up.
Despite being armed with a 1-0 advantage, the Gators were forced to take a defensive approach and try to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, in the 74th minute, Auburn’s Taylor Troutman headed in a corner attempt that squeaked past Marckese.
The Tigers controlled the momentum and the possession for the remainder of regulation, but often saw their shots go either wide or well over the Florida net.
The two teams traded chances in the overtime periods, but nothing prevailed setting up a penalty kick shootout.
Marckese made three saves in the shootout and also scored on Florida’s first attempt to lead the Gators to the dramatic victory. Auburn attempted 25 shots in the contest and Marckese made five saves (not including the shootout).
- Alexander’s first half PK attempt was the first UF attempt of the season. The Gators were the only SEC team not to attempt a PK in the regular season.
- The score was Alexander’s fifth of 2018 after registering three in her freshman campaign.
- Senior captain Sarah Troccoli received a red card in the 57th minute after a hard tackle. Troccoli took an additional jab at her opponent to earn the ejection.
- In the 74th minute Auburn’s Taylor Troutman scored via a header off a Tiger corner kick.
- Florida weathered 53 minutes of action playing a man down and got the game to a shootout where Marckese was able to play hero.
Florida will take on #1 seed Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. The game is slated for a 6:00 PM start and will air on SEC Network.
The Gators will likely need to win for a realistic chance at an NCAA tournament berth.