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Freshman forward secures Florida victory

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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:52 pm

When it came to taking down one of the top teams in the Southeastern Conference, Savannah Jordan was ready.

After going scoreless against Kentucky on Friday, the freshman forward netted both of her shots to help secure Florida’s 3-0 victory against LSU (9-5-2, 5-2-1 SEC) at James G. Pressly Stadium on Sunday.

In the 23rd minute, freshman midfielder Pamela Begic sent an accurate cross to Jordan at the right side of the box. Jordan made a quick turn and shot the ball into the left corner of the net for Florida’s (12-3-1, 6-2 SEC) first goal.

Jordan looked to cushion the lead and set herself up on the right side of the box again.

The forward controlled the ball and sank her shot into the left corner from 16 yards out to give the Gators a 2-0 lead at halftime.

“Our team has been playing great these last couple games, moving the ball really well,” Jordan said. “I think it just opened up for me today, and I was excited to get the goals.”

Jordan’s pair of goals puts her at 15 scored this season and marks her fifth multi-goal match in 2013.

Jordan said she used some of the techniques she learned during her U-18 National Team training last week.

“The level of competition down there really pushed me even further,” Jordan said. “I learned some technical things and I’ve tried to apply those in the game this weekend.”

The freshman was not the only one who met the high level of competition and physicality LSU brought to the field.

The Gators found more opportunities as the game’s physicality increased in the second half.

LSU fouled Florida near the top of the box in the 60th minute, giving the Gators a free kick at close range.

Midfielder Annie Speese took the set piece and sank the ball past LSU goalkeeper Megan Kinneman.

“We talked after halftime and told some of our forwards, ‘You know what, they’re being really physical at the top of the box, so see if you can draw a foul,’” Speese said.

“We’ve been working a lot on free kicks in practice, and I just had a really good feeling when I stepped up on it. Havana [Solaun] looked at me and said, ‘Speese, you’re going to make this,’ and I was like, ‘OK, I can put this in.’”

Speese’s goal is her first this season and the 15th of her career.

After shutting out both LSU and Kentucky, Florida is tied for second in the league with Kentucky. Texas A&M sits atop the SEC with a 7-1 conference record.

With three games left in the regular season, Jordan said now more than ever is the time to keep their momentum going.

“[Coach Becky Burleigh] always emphasizes playing for each other and moving the ball, and I think we really did that this weekend,” Jordan said.

“Each one of us played for the person next to us, and I think that really paid off. If we can keep focusing on that and enforcing that this week, then I think we’ll be good for the [SEC Tournament].”

Follow Michelle Provenzano on Twitter @mmprovenzano.

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