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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Florida looks to find offensive rhythm against the Hurricanes

Gators to finish three-game home stand against the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday

Junior Cassidy Lindley at the Gators home opener of the 2020 season. Florida takes on Miami Sunday in search of its first victory in 2021.
Junior Cassidy Lindley at the Gators home opener of the 2020 season. Florida takes on Miami Sunday in search of its first victory in 2021.

Still on the hunt for their first win, the Florida Gators lace up their cleats on Sunday to finish their three-game home stand.

UCF knocked Florida (0-2-1) off 2-0 Thursday night but the Gators look to recover against the Miami Hurricanes, who stand at 1-1. Florida currently leads the overall series versus Miami, 9-2, but the Hurricanes are desperate to get back on track.

Miami needs to regather itself after suffering a 2-0 loss to the hands of Lipscomb on Thursday. Despite the loss, Miami sophomore Katerina Molina asserted herself as the Canes’ offensive leader after tallying the most shots and scoring the team’s only goal.

The Gators offense is starting to find a rhythm of its own with veterans like redshirt sophomore midfielder Nicole Vernis and graduate student forward Kit Loferski commanding most of the shot opportunities. Loferski leads the team with seven shots and two goals while Vernis  tallied six shots.

Junior forward Kouri Peace has shown the ability to be another threat for Florida. She moved the ball into the box on several occasions despite the opposition always shutting down her opportunities to score. This season, the Chalfont, Pennsylvania, native fancied her way to four shots of her own.

The Gators head coach Tony Amato knows there’s a weak spot in the team’s scoring ability, especially after the UCF shutout.

“At the end of the day, you have to finish,” Amato said. “The final ball, the final shot just wasn’t there for us and we’re gonna have to work on that.”

Florida also lacks a stable backline, and sophomore goaltender Alexa Goldberg has been the lone thread sewing the defensive unit together. The Knights lasered 10 shots on goal Thursday night and Goldberg only got her hands in the way twice.

Goldberg still stands strong in the box and will enter the match against Miami with 22 saves through three games.

Junior midfielder Syd Kennedy also rose to the occasion with numerous tackles which created turnovers and prevented Goldberg from needing to make a few more saves.

The Gators will try to find their footing against the Hurricanes on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium and will be streamed live on SEC Network+.

Contact Jesse Richardson at jrichardson@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @JesseRich352.

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