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Thursday, October 06, 2022

Gators top UCLA in overtime to split West Coast weekend

<p>UF forward Savannah Jordan takes a shot on goal during Florida's 5-2 win against Iowa State on Aug. 19, 2016, at James G. Pressly Stadium.</p>

UF forward Savannah Jordan takes a shot on goal during Florida's 5-2 win against Iowa State on Aug. 19, 2016, at James G. Pressly Stadium.

After opening the 2016 regular season with two easy-going home wins, Florida’s soccer team faced its first obstacle on Friday night in Palo Alto, California, falling to Stanford in a 1-0 overtime loss.

The No. 6 Gators (3-1) bounced back on Sunday night, defeating No. 15 UCLA 4-3 at Drake Stadium in overtime behind a strong performance from All-American senior forward Savannah Jordan.

Jordan scored two goals and entered Sunday’s contest tied for first in the Southeastern Conference and tied for fourth in the NCAA in total points scored.

Florida wasted little time offensively, netting its first goal less than three minutes into the game off a header from Jordan.

UCLA (2-1) then returned the favor in the fifth minute with a goal from senior Annie Alvarado.

"I thought we really came out after them at the beginning and that is what we wanted," UF coach Becky Burleigh said in a release.

"It was kind of a back and forth game for a while."

After a free kick from senior Meggie Dougherty Howard deflected off redshirt junior Gabby Seiler in the 17th minute, freshman Sarah Troccoli corralled the rebound and snuck the ball past UCLA freshman goaltender Teagan Micah to take back the lead for the Gators.

The Bruins rallied in the second half, seizing a 3-2 lead after freshman Jessie Fleming notched back-to-back goals in the 65th and 69th minutes.

UF’s defense shut down the Bruins from then on, setting up Jordan to tally an equalizer in the 73rd minute off an assist from redshirt senior Erika Nelson.

In overtime, luck was on Florida’s side after a cross from Jordan deflected off a UCLA defender to score an own goal and seal the victory for the Gators.

"I thought it showed a lot of resilience on our part to get the goal in overtime," Burleigh said.

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"We are excited to get the W and head back home."

UF will next travel to Tallahassee to take on the Florida State Seminoles at 7 p.m. on Friday. FSU is ranked No. 1 in the country and is 3-0 this season.

Contact Dylan Dixon at ddixon@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @dylanrdixon.

UF forward Savannah Jordan takes a shot on goal during Florida's 5-2 win against Iowa State on Aug. 19, 2016, at James G. Pressly Stadium.

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