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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Gators continue quest for victory against unranked Florida Gulf Coast

Florida soccer travels to Ft. Myers in hopes to achieve Amato’s first win

<p>Kit Loferski runs with the ball during a 2019 game against Florida Gulf Coast.</p>

Kit Loferski runs with the ball during a 2019 game against Florida Gulf Coast.

There’s no doubt about it: the Florida Gators desperately need a victory.

After in-state rival Florida State snapped them from existence in a five-goal slaughter on Thursday, the Gators now stand 0-4-1 for the year, but a win on Sunday against Florida Gulf Coast (2-2) can steer the ship toward the right current. 

The Eagles picked up momentum after downing Florida International Wednesday night, 3-2, to move back to .500. The match on Sunday should be a close battle when comparing FGCU’s 0.492 shot on goal percentage to Florida’s 0.510.

Gator sophomore goaltender Alexa Goldberg managed to maintain her composure between the sticks so far in 2021 despite a shaky defensive backline. FSU laid down 23 shots on goal Thursday night but Goldberg lept, lunged and dove her way to six saves while other Seminole efforts sailed wide.

The Gators defensive unit allowed a total of 79 shots on goal thus far but Goldberg has been a brick wall to keep Florida within reach in most of its games. Meanwhile, the offensive response has been dismal to only place 51 shots on goal.

For example, the Gators only mustered two shots versus the Seminoles on Thursday night. The first was a right-toe bullet score by redshirt graduate forward Kit Loferski in the 10th minute. Then, Shaye Seyffart put up the second desperation shot which found the back of the net in the final 20 seconds.

Going two-for-two for shots on goal is a noteworthy achievement, but the feat is meaningless when the team surrenders four first-half goals.

Florida head coach Tony Amato knows the first victory means everything for the Gators’ momentum.

“We have to get better in the next couple of days to find a way to win on Sunday and I'm confident we can do that,” Amato said. ”That will be another step towards SEC play, and we need to make sure by then we’re in a better place.”

The Gators looked battered and broken during the FSU beatdown, but the team can walk it off Sunday afternoon with a victory against FGCU. Kickoff from Pickering Field is set for 1 p.m. and will be streamed on FloridaGators.com.

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

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