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Thursday, October 06, 2022
<p>UF forward/midfielder Melanie Monteagudo dribbles down the field during Florida's 5-2 win against Iowa State on Aug. 19, 2016, at James G. Pressly Stadium.</p>

UF forward/midfielder Melanie Monteagudo dribbles down the field during Florida's 5-2 win against Iowa State on Aug. 19, 2016, at James G. Pressly Stadium.

Defense has been an issue for the Florida soccer team this season.

UF entered this week with a 1.56 goals against average, good for fourth worst in the Southeastern Conference, and sophomore goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese has had a relatively poor season in comparison to her first campaign with the Gators.

No. 18 Florida (8-3, 3-2 SEC) was anything but lackluster on defense on Friday night however, as the Gators defeated LSU (6-7, 1-4 SEC) 3-0 in Baton Rouge for their fifth consecutive win against the Tigers dating back to 2012.

UF held LSU to a total of three shots,  tying its season low for shots allowed in a game. None of the Tigers’ shots were on goal, giving Marckese her third shutout of 2016 without having to make a single save.

“I thought it was a really relaxed vibe during the game,” coach Becky Burleigh said in a release. “We were able to keep possession the way we wanted but we also had a great intensity about us defensively in terms of tracking back and double teaming.”

Offensively, Florida overwhelmed LSU sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Brockmeier with 27 shots, including 12 on goal.

The underclassmen trio of sophomore forward Melanie Monteagudo, freshman forward Kit Koferski and freshman defender Julia Lester each tallied a goal in the victory.

Monteagudo’s score came early on in the first half after she volleyed a cross from sophomore Samantha Chung 3 yards away from the far post.

Loferski’s came next in the 57th minute off a tap in on the far post on a square ball by sophomore midfielder Sarah Troccoli.

Lester finished the scoring action for the Gators in the match’s final two minutes, driving a shot from the top of the box past Brockmeier inside the left post. The goal was the first of Lester’s career.

“(Monteagudo) held the ball and I was screaming for it and she sent a good pass,” Lester said in a release. “I just looked up, saw a little separation between the defenders, took a shot and it went in.”

Friday night’s victory over LSU keeps UF’s hopes alive that it can still repeat as conference regular season champions. No SEC winner over the past decade has had more than two conference losses, and UF has never won a league title with more than two conference losses in its program’s history.

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Florida will return home for its next match when it takes on unranked Georgia (3-8-1, 0-5 SEC) on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs entered Friday night with the worst offense and defense in the SEC, averaging one goal per game while allowing 1.92 goals per game.

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

UF forward/midfielder Melanie Monteagudo dribbles down the field during Florida's 5-2 win against Iowa State on Aug. 19, 2016, at James G. Pressly Stadium.

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