Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, April 22, 2024

Hyde leads second-half comeback for UF

A pair of second-half goals from midfielders Lauren Hyde and Tahnai Annis helped the No. 7 Florida soccer team overcome an early deficit, spoiling South Florida's upset bid 2-1.

The Bulls (1-1-0) surprised UF (3-0-0) at the end of the first half when Noelle Pineiro snuck into the box and put the ball past keeper Katie Fraine with 35 seconds left in the half. Up until that point, the Gators controlled the tempo of the game.

"In our sport, you can play better than the other team and end up losing," Fraine said.

Just before the goal, Hyde shifted from midfield to defense as part of coach Becky Burleigh's rotation. Hyde blamed herself and vowed to make up for it.

"I told my teammates, 'I'm going to score six goals if I have to. I'm not losing this game,'" she said.

Considering that would be six more goals than she had scored in her four-year career, Hyde's promise was lofty. But she came through when she bent a free kick into the upper-right corner in the 50th minute from 25 yards out, tying the game. It was the third goal resulting from Gators free kicks this weekend, including two Friday night that lifted UF past Florida International 3-0.

"(Assistant coach) Alan (Kirkup) yelled at me, 'Kick it hard,' because that's the main thing we focus on when we go up there," Hyde said. "We know how to kick it, but we usually don't kick it hard enough."

Hyde has received numerous accolades during her four-year career, but had never scored a goal until Sunday. She was a prominent defender for UF, earning third-team All-America honors in 2007, but coach Becky Burleigh moved her to midfield this season to get her more involved with the offense.

The game remained tied until the 78th minute, when sophomore Jazmyne Avant crossed the ball to Hyde. Hyde's shot was deflected, but Annis corralled the ball and knocked it in from 8 yards out.

Burleigh put an emphasis on attacking early in the game, and UF had opportunities from the beginning. Angela Napolitano was the most creative player on the field and set up Ashlee Elliott and Jessica Eicken with good shots in the first five minutes.

Although the Gators looked dominant, they struggled to find the net as USF goalkeeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi played well between the posts. Lofton-Malachi, who had a 0.88 goals-against average last year, saved all four UF shots on goal in the first half and cut off Lindsay Thompson's angle to the goal when she got past the defense, forcing the shot wide.

Fraine said she tried to raise her own game watching Lofton-Malachi, whom she shared playing time during the summer for the Tampa Bay Hellenic of the United Soccer Leagues.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

UF lost a valuable offensive weapon when Elliott, who was involved in the Gators' first two scoring opportunities, went down in the 16th minute after trying to use her size to power through the USF defense. It was determined she had a left knee sprain, and Burleigh said the injury's severity would be known later.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.