Becky Burleigh

The Florida Gators are in the midst of their worst stretch of soccer (six-straight shutout losses) since Becky Burleigh (middle) took over the program in 1995. 

UF soccer suffered its fifth straight shutout on Friday night in Tallahassee after which coach Becky Burleigh remarked that the “universe” would eventually reward her team. 

The universe turned its back on Burleigh and the Florida Gators on Monday afternoon in Orlando.

It was more of the same for Florida (2-5-1), who fell 3-0 to Central Florida (2-2-1).

UF was blanked in its sixth-consecutive game against a 2017 NCAA tournament team. The previous goalless record of three games is now a distant memory.

The scoreline didn’t tell the whole story. Monday’s matinee was actually a makeup for Sunday, which was canceled at halftime due to lightning in the Orlando area. Despite UCF’s 3-0 lead Sunday, the game was restarted from scratch today, meaning Florida was outscored 6-0 in three periods against UCF.

The Knights picked up right where they left off, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a converted penalty in the eleventh minute from midfielder Zandy Soree.

The score stayed 1-0 for the next 59 minutes, until Soree doubled the lead, tallying her second of the game and fourth of the season. The goal came off a cross from forward Stefanie Sanders.

Sanders nicked a goal of her own less than two minutes later. She moved the ball unassisted down the far right line of the pitch, then cut in and stroked it past UF keeper Kaylan Marckese. It was her first goal of 2018.

In a season of bad results, this one was particularly egregious. Against an unranked opponent, UF was outshot 13-3. Its three shots tie for its lowest output of the season.

The Gators will get a much-needed break this week, with their first SEC opponent – Vanderbilt – not coming to Gainesville until Sunday.

You can follow Sam Campisano on Twitter @samcampisano or contact him at scampisano@alligator.org.