Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Saturday, May 18, 2024
<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a3ea6d74-7fff-66ba-2af3-a58dd40ee639"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a3ea6d74-7fff-66ba-2af3-a58dd40ee639">Florida soccer coach Becky Burleigh said she wasn't satisfied with her team's effort in Saturday's preseason exhibition match at Wake Forest. It led 2-1 in the 85th minute but lost 3-2. The Gators begin the 2019 season on Friday night at FAU. </span></span></p>

Florida soccer coach Becky Burleigh said she wasn't satisfied with her team's effort in Saturday's preseason exhibition match at Wake Forest. It led 2-1 in the 85th minute but lost 3-2. The Gators begin the 2019 season on Friday night at FAU. 

Twenty six players. 

That’s how many Gators saw game time in the final preseason contest for the Florida soccer team. That experience is crucial for a young roster — which features 10 freshmen —  playing a top schedule in the nation. 

The young players have plenty of chances to quickly grow up in 2019. Saturday’s match in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was no exception. 

UF lost 3-2 in a game it led until the very end. The Demon Deacons took the early lead in the 14th minute when junior Abby McNamara intercepted a pass in Florida’s 18-yard box and found the back of the net. After that goal, the rest of the match seemed to be all Florida until the final seven minutes of play, where Wake Forest took advantage of youthful inexperience. 

The next goal belonged to Florida in the 29th minute courtesy of junior Alex Stubblebine. Then, after 54 minutes of stalemate, redshirt freshman Samantha Tobar broke the tie with a 30-yard strike. The Gators thought they snagged the game-winner, but the Demon Deacons completely rewrote the story of the contest two minutes later. 

Wake Forest junior Ryanne Brown tied the game in the 85th minute. Three minutes later, sophomore Hulda Arnarsdottir’s go-ahead header became the actual game-winner. 

Florida coach Becky Burleigh took the match for what it was: an exhibition. While unhappy with the result, she said the experience is still useful for her squad. 

“It was our last preseason game,” Burleigh said in a release. “There were a lot of really, really good things that came out of it. Not happy with the way we finished, but that is also a great teaching point for us going forward.

For the Gators, games against excellent competition will be the norm for 2019, with nine more games coming against teams ranked in the preseason United Soccer Coaches Top 25. After the match against No. 18 South Florida on Aug. 25, UF’s next three contests come against top-five opponents, all on the road: No. 5 Southern California, No. 4 UCLA and No. 1 Florida State. 

“It’s going to be exciting,” Burleigh said. “We’ve got the No. 1 schedule in the country and we are looking forward to starting it.”

Follow Graham Marsh on Twitter @GrahamMarshUF. Contact him at gmarsh@alligtor.org.

Florida soccer coach Becky Burleigh said she wasn't satisfied with her team's effort in Saturday's preseason exhibition match at Wake Forest. It led 2-1 in the 85th minute but lost 3-2. The Gators begin the 2019 season on Friday night at FAU. 

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.