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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Gators soccer settles for draw against Kentucky

Florida ties its third SEC matchup of the season

Junior defender Madison Young prepares to pass the ball in the Gators' 1-1 draw against the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023.
Junior defender Madison Young prepares to pass the ball in the Gators' 1-1 draw against the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023.

Florida soccer dominated offensively against the Kentucky Wildcats with 11 shots on goal to Kentucky’s six. Despite the strong performance, the Gators still fell short of their first conference win of the season.

The Florida Gators (4-3-3, 0-2-1 SEC) drew against the Kentucky Wildcats (6-0-3, 0-0-2 SEC) 1-1 Sunday afternoon at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

There were 26 fouls called between the two teams. Despite the continuous foul trouble, the match remained closely contested throughout.

Florida’s attack controlled the early possession battle in the first 15 minutes of the match.

Freshman Gators forward Megan Hinnenkamp fired a strike from the far right wing, but it went too far wide.

In the 36th minute, Florida senior midfielder Emily Yaple dribbled the ball down the field. She sent a long-range shot from the far right wing to score her first career goal and put Florida up 1-0.

The Gators kept the defense on its heels in the first half and outshot the Wildcats four shots to one. Kentucky responded well to Florida’s pressure, though, and kept the deficit to one goal heading into halftime.

Both teams remained relentless coming into the second half.

Yaple crossed the ball into the box towards freshman forward Lena Bailey, who took a shot to the bottom center of the net. Kentucky graduate student goalkeeper Marzia Josephson caught the ball to keep the Wildcats in play.

Wildcats graduate student forward Jordyn Rhodes took a shot to the top of the net. Goldberg deflected the ball to keep Florida ahead.

In the 64th minute, Kentucky graduate student forward Maya Lacognato fired a shot into the back of the net. This brought the match to a 1-1 tie.

The Gators continued to apply pressure on the ball which forced Kentucky to play in their defensive end. They put three shots on goal during the last 15 minute stretch.

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Florida had an opportunity with two minutes remaining as UF attempted its first corner kick but overshot the net with a header.

The Gators outshot the Wildcats seven to four in the second half. However, UF failed to break through and settled for a draw.

Florida will face Louisiana State at 7 p.m. Friday next. The match will be broadcast on SEC Network.

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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