Ninety minutes of high-tempo soccer didn’t go Florida’s way despite a dominant performance Thursday night at Oxford. The Rebels had moments of brilliance that helped knock the Gators down to third place on the SEC standings.
Lots of action at Oxford
Florida’s goal in the 25th minute silenced the lively 863 spectators at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
Sophomore Cassidy Lindley’s second attempt at a cross reached Junior Madison Alexander at the top of the box. In a matter of a second, the Michigan native took a touch and fired the ball past Ashleigh Orkus. Alexander also opened the scoring against Texas A&M from the spot on Sunday.
Mississippi showcased their physical presence at the dawn of the first half scoring from a long cross into the box. Saydie Holland and Channing Foster broke through Florida’s line of defense and swarmed Susi Ezpinoza. Holland tapped it for Foster to score on an empty net followed up with an acrobatic celebration. The home fans had all reasons to be pumped.
Sophomore Lonnie Mulligan took the Gators by surprise scoring 35 seconds into the second half.Coach Becky Burleigh’s team was quick to respond just two minutes later. After another blocked cross, Lindley resorted to hitting the rebound at goal from a tight angle and hit the back of the net.
But the Rebels spoiled the party with 15 minutes left on the clock. A perfectly executed lobbed freekick from 40 yards out found Molly Martin leaping over Carina Baltrip-Reyes. Espinoza had no chance to block that one.
The Gators had not lost to the Rebels since 2009 and all three UF losses in he history of the series have been suffered in Mississippi.
What’s left for the Gators
Florida is now 4-1 in SEC play and have five games left on its schedule. More in detail, the Gators will have the luxury of playing their next two matches at home.
On Sunday at 1 p.m., the Gators will face bottom of the table Kentucky and fifth place Auburn on Friday, Oct 18.
The last three conference games will be against Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia. The toughest of the three being South Carolina at home.