Florida and North Florida sprinted up and down the pitch on Friday night for 120 minutes, but all efforts were mute in the final score. Although 17 total shots were blasted in regulation time, the match went scoreless and the Gators recorded their second consecutive draw.
Whistles pierced the Gators’ ears as the squad compiled 23 fouls against the North Florida Ospreys. Words were exchanged between the athletes, coaches and match officials to inspire two yellow cards gifted to the Florida bench and junior midfielder Cameron Hall for unsporting conduct.
UNF wore a mask of innocence to only record a paltry 10 fouls in comparison.
Florida head coach Tony Amato earned the yellow card of his own to show he’s with his team until the end of the line. The head umpire favored his calls toward Florida most of the night, and Amato had seen enough when the official didn’t flash a yellow to North Florida in the second half after an aggressive tackle.
“Honestly, I thought it was a penalty, and you know I wanted our team to know that I have their back,” Amato explained. “We respect a no call, but at the moment, I wanted to make sure that I defended the team and they recorded me for that and I deserved it. And now when we move forward from there we can concentrate on coaching our team.”
One of the Gators’ first opportunities came in the 11th minute, when junior forwards Kouri Peace and Alivia Gonzalez fused their efforts to create a turnover at midfield and advance the ball to the box. Graduate redshirt forward Kit Loferski lunged at the ball but was tripped up by UNF goalkeeper Mercedes Sapp, who tackled her to make the save.
Gonzalez created her own opportunity in the second half when she was left isolated on the right side of the box. She bent a shot with her left foot, but Sapp snagged her second save of the night.
Florida goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg earned her second shutout of the week after saving 13 shots on goal and improving her goals allowed average to 1.70 anchoring her save percentage to .867.
Florida returns to conference play when it takes on the rival Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday. The match will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed on FloridaGators.com with live stats.
Contact Jesse Richardson at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseRich352.