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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Florida soccer collapses against Georgia

The Gators allowed three goals in 10 minutes to extend their losing streak to five

<p>Redshirt freshman midfielder Oakley Rasmussen shoots against South Florida Sept. 1, 2021. </p>

Redshirt freshman midfielder Oakley Rasmussen shoots against South Florida Sept. 1, 2021.

Ten minutes may seem like a short amount of time. 

You can watch a Youtube video, walk your dog and prepare a quick meal in less time than that. For the Florida defense Sunday, 10 minutes was enough time for a decisive breakdown. 

The Gators (2-8, 0-2) allowed three goals in that span, leading to a 3-0 loss to Georgia (8-3, 1-1) at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Florida’s losing streak now stands at five matches.   

“I've challenged our staff to go back and figure out (should) we have done something differently because this was our worst performance of the season,” said Gators head coach Samantha Bohon. “It's very discouraging.”

The Bulldogs were superior from the kickoff. Florida cornered itself on its side of the field to fend off Georgia’s repetitive strikes, which included seven shots and six corner kicks in the first half. 

Florida found the back of the net in the 17th minute via a foul kick cross, but the officials deemed it offside. From that moment, the Gators shut down offensively, registering only one shot for the rest of the half. 

In the second frame, Florida’s defense crumbled while Georgia grew strong. 

The Bulldogs took the lead in the 58th minute with a header from sophomore forward Joyelle Washington. The 5-foot-8-inch striker sent the ball past UF junior goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg through the left side of the goal to make it 1-0.

Four minutes later, Georgia doubled its lead with an impressive header by junior defender Taylor Rish. The Alpharetta, Georgia, native scored on junior defender Madison Haugen’s precise cross. 

The Bulldogs’ final strike came at the 67-minute mark. Sophomore forward Rebecca Womer beat UF redshirt sophomore defender Tori Grambo’s challenge to send the ball past Goldberg inside the box.

Following the trio of goals, the Gators looked for solutions, but couldn’t find any. Georgia kept on applying pressure and sending shots at Goldberg, who finished the match with six saves. 

Florida players seemed exhausted after the third goal. Errant touches and empty long balls depleted the Gators’ stamina. Bohon said the weather wasn’t an excuse, given that the team practices under those conditions. 

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“I think the fatigue was more because we couldn't keep [the ball] so we were chasing so much,” Bohon said. “[It’s] a self-inflicted problem that we got to do better next time.”

Florida will return to the pitch Friday at No. 8 South Carolina. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will stream on SEC Network +.

Contact Jose Tovar at jtovar@alligator.org. Find him on Twitter @jose___tovar.

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Jose Tovar

Jose Tovar is a fourth-year journalism student at the University of Florida specializing in sports and media. He has covered softball and soccer as a beat writer and aspires to work in the sports media industry.


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