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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Gators soccer comeback hopes fall short to Tennessee

Florida lost their second SEC matchup of the season

<p>Redshirt sophomore midfielder Sophie White dribbles the ball up the field in the Gators&#x27; 8-0 win against the Stetson Hatters Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023.</p>

Redshirt sophomore midfielder Sophie White dribbles the ball up the field in the Gators' 8-0 win against the Stetson Hatters Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023.

Florida managed just four shots on goal as it finished goalless in its Southeastern Conference matchup against Tennessee.

The Vols swarmed the Gators all match long with 13 total shots and eight corner kicks.

The Florida Gators (4-2-2, 0-2 SEC) fell to the Tennessee Volunteers (5-2-1, 1-1 SEC) 2-0 Thursday night at Regal Soccer Stadium. The team's losing streak now stands at three.

Tennessee came out quicker to the ball and had Florida on its heels in the first 15 minutes of the match.

Vols graduate student midfielder Sizzy Lawton dribbled down the field around several defenders to take a shot from the left wing. She barely missed the right corner of the goal.

Florida continued to hold strong defensive pressure despite Tennessee holding the early possession battle.

Gators redshirt senior defender Daviana Vaka dominated defensively with consistent deflections of the ball.

In the 24th minute, Lawton took the first shot on goal of the game. Her shot came on strong from the left wing to the far right post and hit the back of the net. This put the Vols up one early in the match.

Florida had a few attacking opportunities but could not capitalize on any of them. Tennessee outshot the Gators four shots to one with four corner kicks.

Both teams traded possession until the end of the first half. Tennessee entered the halftime break with a 1-0 lead.

The Volunteers put up a strong offensive attack coming into the second half.

In the 48th minute, Lawton attempted a left-wing shot, but Florida senior goalkeeper Alexa Goldberg managed to save the goal to keep the Gators in the game.

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UF ran into foul trouble, giving Tennessee another opportunity off a free kick.

Tennessee senior defender Lindsey Brick attempted a shot from the bottom left wing, but Goldberg managed to catch it. This was her third critical stop of the second half.

In the 62nd minute, freshman fielder Kate Runyon fired a right footed shot down the center to put the Vols two nothing over Florida. The top of the net shot was out of reach for Goldberg.

The Vols continued to apply pressure on the ball which forced the Gators to play on their defensive end.

Florida had the opportunity with 11 minutes remaining to attempt their first corner kick, but could not find the back of the net.

The Gators will next play at home against Kentucky at 2 p.m. Sunday. The game can be broadcast on ESPNU.

Contact Hailey Hurst at Follow her on Twitter @haileyjhurst

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Hailey Hurst

Hailey Hurst is a second-year journalism major with a focus in sports media and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and cheering for Miami sports teams.

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