The UF soccer team suffered a setback Sunday when team doctors told senior forward Ashlee Elliott she has a torn ACL in her left knee that will cause her to miss the rest of the season.
Elliott has started the past 46 games for the No. 7 Gators (3-0-0), dating back to her sophomore year in 2007. Her play earned her a spot on the First-Team All-Southeastern Conference squad the past two seasons, and she was named to the preseason team this year.
"That's a big loss for us. Obviously, she is somebody that we really rely on, and she is a captain of this team," coach Becky Burleigh said at a press conference Monday.
The injury occurred early in the first half of Sunday's game against South Florida, when Elliott tried to muscle her way through the defense. She lost the ball during the sequence and fell to the ground.
The game stopped as she was helped off the field to the training table, covering her face with her hands, clearly in pain. A few minutes later, she was driven to the team's locker room, where she stayed for the remainder of the game.
Burleigh said in addition to being one of the team's most accomplished players, Elliott keeps the team loose. She can often be seen dancing with teammates on the field before kickoff.
"Ashlee's a really big personality on our team," Burleigh said. "She's very energetic. She really fires our team up. She's one of the more inspirational leaders."
Elliott is eligible for a medical redshirt if she wants to play next year.