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Friday, September 24, 2021

First loss of spring for Florida comes late at the claws of LSU

Despite their continued improvement creating chances, the Gators couldn’t get the win

UF outshot the Tigers, 6-4 in the first and 7-4 in the second in both halves. Photo from UF-Georgia Southern game March 11.
UF outshot the Tigers, 6-4 in the first and 7-4 in the second in both halves. Photo from UF-Georgia Southern game March 11.


Sunday became a day of firsts for Florida as it lost to LSU 2-1 in Orange Beach, Alabama.

It marked the first road match of the spring, the first time Florida kept the same starting 11 for two consecutive matches and the first time it conceded more than a goal since play restarted. 

Coach Becky Burleigh didn’t change the lineup who beat Georgia Southern Thursday after the substitution patterns on Thursday were explained to be due to schedule load.

“This is the first time, besides the SEC Tournament, in over a year we’ve had a two game weekend,” Burleigh said. “So we were very aware of that going into this game and tried to sort of split time so nobody would have a super high load so we can better prepared going into the LSU game.”

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One thing that the Gators did carry over was their chance creation. UF outshot the Tigers, 6-4 in the first and 7-4 in the second in both halves. 

The Tigers broke the deadlock in the 41’ when Alex Moffat scored the rarely seen olympico, a corner kick that goes directly in the back of the net. As Suzi Espinoza leapt for the ball, Deanne Rose couldn’t swoop in to help. The Canadian national struggled to position herself on the line and couldn’t block the bending kick. 

To start the second half, there were three changes from the starters with Tori Grambo coming in at left back for Syd Kennedy, Sydney Urban at center back for Georgia Eaton-Collins and Deanne Rose at left midfield for Nicole Vernis.

Beatta Olsson continued her form in front of net, grabbing the equalizer in the 69’. This is the Swede’s third goal in a Florida kit in four games. She averages a goal every 106 minutes, the lowest ratio on the team. She is also an efficient scorer and puts the ball away with 37.5% of her shots, the highest of anyone on the team with over eight. 

Florida would face heartbreak in the 89’ when Moffat sent in another ball into box, this time from a floated cross that found its way onto Molly Thompson’s head. Thompson  jumped both Urban and Espinoza to secure LSU’s late win for LSU.

Florida will return to Florida March 17 to face North Florida in Jacksonville.

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Contact Myles Herbert at mherbert@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @myles_herbert



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