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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Florida falls to Missouri in overtime

The Gators losing skid extends to three

<p>Florida&#x27;s Georgia Eaton-Collins pictured during a game in 2019.</p>

Florida's Georgia Eaton-Collins pictured during a game in 2019.

In the first minute of overtime, Missouri forward Jadyn Easley charged past the Gators defense. She fired a shot from outside the box, and Florida sophomore goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg dove to attempt the game-winning save.

She dove too soon.

Goldberg’s body hit the pitch, and the ball bounced five yards in front of her. The ball flew above a helpless Goldberg and then slowed to a daunting roll to the back of the net, awarding the Missouri Tigers the 3-2 golden goal victory Sunday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Mizzou’s victory halted the program’s six-match losing streak. The Gators own losing skid extends to three in their first season under head coach Tony Amato.

“Feel for all the players and the staff, because it's brutal to leave in overtime, and today, I thought we created enough chances and we gave away some goals that we haven't been doing in a while,” Amato said. “Ultimately, that makes a difference in the game and I thought the game was one inside the boxes for them today.”

Florida conceded the contest’s first score in the opening twenty minutes after Mizzou senior Blythe Beldner wailed a bullet between the sticks. Florida defender Georgia Eaton-Collins initially made a defensive stop but Beldner appeared to bend it in.

Eaton-Collins was Goldberg and the Florida defense’s savior. The sophomore keeper was caught out of position numerous times, but Eaton-Collins was there to save the day before the ball crossed the goal line.

Eventually, the Gators brought the score back to a 1-1 tie when a right-foot shot from defender Taylor Baksay slithered its way into the net. The goal was Baksay’s first of the season and the momentum flip Florida was looking for.

UF forward Madison Alexander broke the stalemate in the 68th minute after tapping the ball off her knee while laying down in front of the goal line. She fell to the pitch after the first chance was denied by the Missouri defense, but recovered to make the play while still on the ground.

Florida celebrated with victory in grasp, but Easley kept her composure in the madness to knot the match two minutes later for her first of two goals on the day. Easley secured the match for the Tigers a minute into overtime. 

The conclusion of the 2021 season swiftly approaches, and the Gators only have four matches remaining. They hit the road Oct. 10 to face off against the Auburn Tigers.

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

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