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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Georgia hosts Florida final SEC away match

Gators travels to Athens, Georgia looking to knock off the Bulldogs

Florida's Madison Alexander dribbles with the ball during a game against Kentucky on Sept. 23
Florida's Madison Alexander dribbles with the ball during a game against Kentucky on Sept. 23

Florida is on the brink of postseason play. The Gators still control their own destiny, but they badly need points in their final three conference matches to secure a Southeastern Conference playoff berth.

First up, the final road match of the year against the Gators’ archrival on Thursday night at 5 p.m in Athens, Georgia.

The Georgia Bulldogs spent the first half of the year in prolific form, averaging nearly five goals a match through eight contests. Once conference matches began, however, Georgia showed vulnerability, and the Bulldogs have only netted just 1.1 goals per match in SEC play so far. 

Regardless of form, Georgia still boasts potent goal scoring threats all over the pitch. Graduate forward Mollie Belisle leads all SEC scorers with 14 goals in 15 starts. Senior midfielder Abby Boyan notched five goals and seven assists while also leading all players in total minutes played.

For the Gators to succeed against the slumping but dangerous Bulldogs, they need goals. Florida scored just twice during its current four-game losing skid.

Graduate forwards Madison Alexander and Kit Loferski pose the best goal scoring threats for Florida currently. Alexander factored heavily in Florida’s last match against Georgia, a 1-1 draw, and Loferski has been the sole bright spot among an anemic Gators attack all season.

If Florida can muster a performance against its hated rivals, the Gators move into prime position to secure an SEC postseason berth.

The Gators face Georgia in Athens, Georgia, on Thursday night at 5 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Contact Ryan Zehnder at rzehnder@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @ryan_zehnder.

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