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Tuesday, February 07, 2023
<p>Sophomore forward Madison Alexander gave Florida a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute. It was her second goal in as many games for the Gators this season. </p>

Sophomore forward Madison Alexander gave Florida a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute. It was her second goal in as many games for the Gators this season. 

The No. 7 Gators had to fight their way to a season-opening win. They came back with two second-half goals amid the irregular drizzle and consistent possession to down Washington 2-1.

Florida (2-0) had an easier time in its encore performance at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in its 4-2 win over FAU Sunday night.

Despite the impressive offensive outburst, coach Becky Burleigh said she expects more from her team, which gave up three corner kicks to the Owls in the first nine minutes.

“We have the ability to score some really pretty goals,” she said. “We’ve just gotta do a much better job defensively.”

Florida’s first score came from midfielder Melanie Monteagudo off a pass from forward Cassidy Lindley. Monteagudo dribbled around a defender in the box and found the back of the net just inside the far post from nine yards out.

The Gators were the more aggressive side for the rest of the first half. Four consecutive UF shots followed over the next five minutes. Florida broke through again in the 35th minute off of forward Madison Alexander’s second goal of the season.

However, it was Lindley who led the Gators offense in just her second collegiate game. After assisting Monteagudo in the first half, she scored her first goal right after halftime. A well-placed through ball from Troccoli set up Lindley, who tapped it past the keeper, putting Florida up 3-0 a minute into the second half.

“It’s always been a dream of mine [to score for UF],” Lindley said. “I’m just thankful my teammates could help me.”

FAU showed some resiliency in the second half. UF goalkeeper Susi Espinoza deflected a rifle shot from Owls midfielder Maddison Krstec into the air. Before the ball could settle again, forward Tiril Haga pounded it to Espinoza’s right and into the back of the net.

UF responded in the 63rd minute when Sammie Betters headed in her second of the season from five yards out off Lindley’s second assist of the match.

Florida Atlantic scored its second goal courtesy of Ebba Blomqvist in the 78th minute. It was another defensive lapse from the Gators, as Blomqvist was able to get a free header from six yards out off of a free kick.

With both FAU goals coming from set pieces, Burleigh said she knows her focus heading into Friday’s matchup with No. 23 Ohio State.

“We’re really trying to not let the outcome, which was a win, cloud the fact that we still have issues to deal with,” she said. “Clearly set pieces is one of them. That’s an easy one.”

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You can follow Sam Campisano on Twitter @samcampisano or contact him at scampisano@alligator.org. 

 

Sophomore forward Madison Alexander gave Florida a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute. It was her second goal in as many games for the Gators this season. 

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