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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
<p>Melanie Monteagudo (far right) heads the ball into the net during Florida's 6-0 win over Alabama on Oct. 20, 2016, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.</p>

Melanie Monteagudo (far right) heads the ball into the net during Florida's 6-0 win over Alabama on Oct. 20, 2016, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Melanie Monteagudo raced across Alabama’s penalty box through a sea of bodies as Meggie Dougherty Howard’s pass glided through the air toward her.

Monteagudo had just entered the field as a substitute. Five minutes later, her first big opportunity presented itself.

The sophomore forward took advantage, diving and heading the cross from Dougherty Howard past Crimson Tide goalkeeper Kat Stratton from 3 yards away to give Florida a commanding 2-0 lead heading into halftime.

“(She) played a perfect ball,” Monteagudo said. “Diving headers count too for us, so I just went for it.”

The early goal set the tone for a second-half blowout, as the No. 20 Gators (11-4, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) defeated unranked Alabama (8-7-1, 3-5-1 SEC) 6-0 on Thursday night at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. UF increased its all-time record against the Crimson Tide to 19-1-2.

The Gators shut down Alabama in nearly all facets of the game, not only holding the Crimson Tide scoreless but also keeping them from attempting a single shot.

Florida, in comparison, took 18 shots — 13 of them on goal — and its six-goal differential was its highest over an opponent this season.

“I’m really happy with the way everyone came out,” Dougherty Howard said. “We fought hard for each other and played for the full 90 minutes. We were obviously able to get a really good result from it.”

All six of UF’s goals came from different players.

Senior forward Savannah Jordan got the night started in the 14th minute after scoring from 8 yards away off an assist from sophomore midfielder Mayra Pelayo. The goal was Jordan’s 13th of the year and the 78th of her career.

After Monteagudo’s header sent Florida into the half up by two, Dougherty Howard converted on a penalty kick in the 67th minute to move the lead to three.

Senior forward Brooke Sharp then scored in the 72nd minute on a wide-open net after a shot deflected off Stratton right to her from 3 yards away.

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Senior midfielder Pamela Begic and freshman forward Kit Loferski concluded the Gators’ barrage of goals, scoring at the 72:18 and 74:41 marks, respectively.

“Everything opened up,” Jordan said. “I think everyone played a role. We had six people score different goals tonight, so that’s amazing to have a team win like that.”

Next, Florida will hold its senior day on Sunday against Mississippi State at 1 p.m. UF has eight seniors on its roster, including three starters in Jordan, Dougherty Howard and defender Erika Nelson.

“It’s definitely crazy thinking it’s our last regular season home game and senior day,” Dougherty Howard said. “Time flies, so I’m just trying to not think about it too much. It’s going to be an emotional game.”

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

Melanie Monteagudo (far right) heads the ball into the net during Florida's 6-0 win over Alabama on Oct. 20, 2016, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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