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Monday, August 15, 2022

Florida downed by No. 23 Auburn

Gators continue to slip as losing streak extends to four matches

Florida's Kit Loferski with the ball during Florida's overtime victory against Kentucky on Thursday.
Florida's Kit Loferski with the ball during Florida's overtime victory against Kentucky on Thursday.

The downfall of Florida Gators soccer continues as the team’s losing streak extends to four after a beatdown from the No. 23 Auburn Tigers.

Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Auburn kept the Tigers in the hunt for a top-five seed in the SEC conference tournament but anchored the Gators in a tie for ninth. Only the top ten SEC teams earn a spot in the championship tournament.

The first half of play provided a scoreless deadlock, but Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa’s midgame offensive adjustments gave the Tigers the edge they needed to start the butchering. Florida recorded zero shots in the first half and only mustered a single shot on goal to respond to Auburn’s 11 shots.

Florida goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg lunged, lept, and punched her way through a shot onslaught on Sunday afternoon to record nine saves. Although the sophomore laid her body on the line for save after save, the defensive unit failed to keep the Tigers at bay and take pressure off Goldberg’s shoulders. 

Auburn broke the scoring stalemate in the 51st minute with a bending shot from redshirt sophomore Marissa Arias for her third goal of the season. Junior midfielder Sydney Richards tallied her third goal of the year 20 minutes later with a right-foot shot from the box.

Goldberg’s save total increased to 78 for the year on 250 shots faced after her 15th straight start between the sticks.

Redshirt sophomore Nicole Vernis placed the only shot on goal for the Gators, her fourth of the year and second in two games.

The Gators return home before they hit the road again for Athens, Georgia, to face their conference rival Bulldogs.

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

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