Florida soccer began its second straight season with a new coach Thursday night. Things didn’t go as planned, though. By the end of the match Central Florida was celebrating with Gator chomps.
The Gators 3-0 loss was their first official match under Samantha Bohon’s control. It is now UF’s second straight loss versus UCF; Florida still leads the all-time series with the Knights 14-7-1.
The Gators finished Thursday night’s match with nine shots and four on target but failed to hit the back of the net. UF also drew six corner kicks but could not find any success from set pieces.
UCF dominated possession early in the match but could not capitalize on any chances in the first half. Knights forwards Mia Asenjo and Kristen Scott had chances in the first two minutes of the match, but UF junior goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg saved both.
The teams were tied scoreless at halftime, but UCF broke the deadlock early in the second half.
Knights forward Kristen Scott beat one defender and dribbled around Goldberg to score the opening goal of the match in the 54th minute. Midfielder Polly Watson was credited for the assist as she delivered a through ball from midfield to connect with Scott.
The match remained tight until UCF scored two goals in five minutes to push its lead to 3-0.
Knights forward Dayana Martin scored the second goal of the match. Defender Mathilde Kack launched a cross into the Gators’ box, which Martin received and finished as she poked the ball past Goldberg.
Martin nearly scored her second goal of the match in the 82nd minute when a shot from her hit off the post. However, UCF still made the most of the scoring chance as forward Mallory Olsson was there for the rebound. She tapped in the ball for the Knights’ third goal.
UCF finished with 12 shots and seven on goal. The Knights proved too much for the Gators in their new coach's debut.
Bohon, who stayed positive following the loss, was pleased with her team’s effort and felt the score was not representative of its play.
“I’m really happy with the team and some of the things that we did on the field was really good,” Bohon said. “We just need to do that for 90 minutes and not 75 minutes.”
Florida will stay on the road for its next match to take on the Stetson Hatters at 6 p.m. Sunday. The match will be broadcast on Hatter Vision.
Jackson Reyes is a UF journalism senior and The Alligator's Fall 2023 Sports Editor. He previously served as Digital Managing Editor and was a reporter and assistant editor on the sports desk. In his free time, he enjoys collecting records, long walks on the beach and watching Bo Nix.