UF soccer holds off Indiana, 1-0

Published: Saturday, September 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 1, 2007 at 3:55 p.m.

Florida's soccer team looked like it was going to win its season opener with ease Friday night at Pressly Stadium. Instead, the 13th-ranked Gators found themselves battling to hold on.

The Gators used an early goal by senior KeLeigh Hudson and fended off a late flurry by Indiana to defeat the Hoosiers 1-0 in front of 1,179 fans.

"That's the good news, that we came away with a win," coach Becky Burleigh said. "But we did not play as well as we had hoped."

The Gators, deep with experience, started the season without a true freshman in its lineup for the first time in the program's 13-year history. But Florida looked somewhat immature after a furious start the game.

Indiana twice had open shots on the goal in the second half, missing each time.

"We've got to have a killer instinct," senior Stacy Bishop said. "We can't let teams hang around."

Florida did against the Hoosiers. Hudson put the Gators ahead in the 13th minute with the season's first goal an unassisted rebound shot from six yards out. The Gators then seemed poised to blow the match open.

Florida had two shots early in the match ricochet off the post while another attempt an open 10-yard rebound shot by senior Shelley Lyle sailed high over the crossbar.

"If we score there the game is over," Burleigh said. "When you go up 2-0 that quick, it's over."

Florida got off the first seven shots of the match and had a total of three shots hit the post. But instead of a big lead, Indiana found breath of life in the second half.

The Hoosiers' best chance to tie the match came when Hoosiers midfielder Lindsay McCarthy missed a rebound shot inside the box with Gator goalkeeper Katie Fraine laying on her back with just under eight minutes left.

"It was a little more nerve-wrecking than I'd hoped for," Fraine said. "They had a burst of energy and luckily we held them off."

Fraine, a redshirt freshman, was impressive in her first complete game, making four saves en route to a shutout.

"It feels good to have my first match out of the way, it feels good to have my first win out of the way, it feels good to have my first shutout out of the way," Fraine said. "All my firsts are gone and now I can just play."

Florida has not lost a season opener since 2002. The Gators tied Portland in last year's season opener. Florida will next play host to No. 2 Notre Dame Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Pressly Stadium.

Contact Brandon Zimmerman at 374-5051 or zimmerb@gvillesun.com.

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