The Gators felt like they were the better team in the 2-0 home opening loss to the University of Central Florida on Sunday.
They had more possession but could not turn it into goals. Without a fully fit Deanne Rose, the offense struggled. Rose put in only 42 minutes in a substitute appearance against UCF, but she still was one of the most dangerous players on the field.
“We had a reality check in the last game losing when we thought we should have won,” said senior Vanessa Kara, “We thought it came down, not even to a lack of finishing, but a lack of confidence in the box.”
The Gators turned it all around against Florida Gulf Coast tonight. The team put four goals past a helpless Florida Gulf Coast to return the Gators to winning ways.
🐊⚽️ starters 🆚 FGCU
— Gators Soccer (@GatorsSoccer) September 12, 2019
Florida had only scored one goal in their last three games, but the team came out looking confident and fluid.
Their energy paid off early, when Kara tapped in a cross to from Cassidy Lindley in the 13th minute for her first goal of the season.
She did not stop there. Just 13 minutes after her opener, Kara pounced on a long shot from Madison Alexander after it ricocheted off the cross bar to double the Gators lead.
Despite not having Deanne Rose at all this game, the Florida attackers had their way with the FGCU defense. There were plenty of pretty passes exchanged and fluid movement on-and-off the ball on display in the first half.
The Gators hit the back of the net again in the 37th minute when freshman Kouri Peace cut in from the left side of the box and released a curling effort that the Gulf Coast keeper could do nothing about.
At halftime, Florida sported a 7 to 3 shot advantage and had a 3-0 lead to show for their efforts.
The second half was more of the same, as FGCU struggled to carve out good chances. Their best opportunities of the game were often generated from Florida mistakes.
The Gators came out of the break strong and squandered a few good looks at goal just minutes into the second half.
However, they did not take their foot off the pedal. In the 70th minute, Laney Steed delivered a corner that the Gulf Coast keeper came out to claim. She failed to get her hands on it, and the ball fell in the box to redshirt junior midfielder Parker Roberts who headed it in. The Gators led 4-0.
— Gators Soccer (@GatorsSoccer) September 13, 2019
Florida had a few more chances to close out the game, but ultimately, they did not convert. By the end of the match, the Gators had 17 shots compared to the Eagles’ five.
Outlook for the Gators
This was the Gators highest scoring game of the season so far. The team looks to round out their three-game homestand on Sunday when the Miami Hurricanes visit.
The status of Deanne Rose is uncertain, but the team will hope their leading goal-scorer can return soon from a hamstring injury that she picked up in California at the end of August.