Roundup: Soccer rolls to big win over Jayhawks

Published: Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 19, 2011 at 1:51 a.m.

Goals by six different Gators led to the No. 9 Florida soccer team's (7-2) 7-2 win over Kansas (6-3) Sunday afternoon at the Kansas Soccer Complex. The match was the final before conference play begins for both teams.

Progress is something the Gator coaches are always looking for as the season marches on and UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh thought the team took a step forward this weekend after road wins at Missouri (2-0) and Kansas (7-2).

“As the season progresses we are always trying to get better and better,” Burleigh said. “I think we took a step forward this weekend so that's a good thing.”

The Gators got on the board early, just one tick over eight minutes in. Sophomore Maggie Rodgers, deep on the right side, crossed the ball into box. Tahnai Annis timed her jump perfectly, volleying the ball in at 8:01. The goal was the 30th of her Gator career.

The Gators' second score started in the 20th minute when former Buchholz star Havana Solaun took a shot, KU goalkeeper Kat Liebetrau made the stop, but the rebound slid to her right where Annie Speese was waiting to finish at the far post corner. The goal was the third for Speese for the weekend, as she provided both goals in Florida's 2-0 win at Missouri on Friday.

Solaun got a goal to go with her assist in the 24th minute. The Jayhawks appeared to score a goal, which was ruled offside. The Gators quickly put the ball into play, finding Solaun at the top of the attacking third. Solaun took a shot which Liebetrau deflected. Solaun, following up her shot was able to put in the loose ball from eight yards for her second goal of the season.

The Gators got two quick goals in the final two minutes of the half. Caroline Triglia sent a diagonal ball to McKenzie Barney, who scored her second goal of the year at the far post corner at 43:18. As time ticked down, Lindsay Thompson brought the ball down the field into the box. The shot she tucked in at the post just crossed the line as the halftime horn sounded.

“They were counting down the 10 second clock. She kept her composure and slipped the ball in at the last second,” Burleigh said. “It was good for her to stay focused despite the fact the clock was running down.”

When Thompson was a freshman in 2008, she scored the only goal of the opening half of the UF-UCF match in the NCAA Second Round at 44:57. Before her goal Sunday, that was the latest ever by a Gator in the opening half.

Second half scoring began when the Gators were awarded their first penalty kick of the season at 48:41 after Rodgers was fouled in the box. Erika Tymrak score on the kick, giving her six goals for the season. That total equals her career-high season total of goals set last year as a sophomore.

Two quick goals by the Jayhawks narrowed the Gator lead to four. Freshman Ingrid Vidal added to her KU season goal lead in the 54th minute when she intercepted a back pass to the Gator goalkeeper Brooke Chancey. The Jayhawks were awarded a corner kick in the 59th minute. Jamie Fletcher's header off the corner was blocked, but Caroline Kastor was there to put in the deflection.

Annis and Rodgers, who started the Gator scoring in the ninth minute, connected again to end the scoring for the match in the 89th minute. Rodgers again sent a cross into the box which Annis scored at the near post corner.

Burleigh liked the ball movement shown by the Gators today.

“I think we did a really good of moving the ball well and catching Kansas out of position. It is difficult to recover when the ball is moving that quickly,” Burleigh said. “The finishes became relatively easy after the way we move the ball.”

The Gators begin defense of their Southeastern Conference title next weekend with a pair of road trips, facing Georgia on Sept. 23 and No. 16 Tennessee on Sept. 25.

MEN'S GOLF: The No. 7 Gators wrapped up play at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational by firing a final round team score of 295 to finish seventh in the elite 15 team field. Tyler McCumber led the way for the Gators using a final round 69 (-1) to finish tied for seventh for the tournament.

“It was a little bit better day for us today,” said head coach Buddy Alexander. “We're not excited about finishing seventh, but it was tough out there today and we were able pick up a few shots on the field. Tyler and Tommy both played good today and J.D. had his best round so I guess I'd say, all in all, for the week there were more positives than negatives.”

Starting on the back nine, McCumber used a birdie on the par-3 13th to counter a bogey on the 12th to make the turn in an even 35 strokes. The junior was able to push his score to -2 by making birdies on the par-5 first and the par-4 seventh before giving a shot back on his home hole to finish the day at one-under 69. The final round 69 gave McCumber a three day total of 215 (+5) to lead the Gators.

“Anytime you can shoot under par on this course it means you had a good round,” explained Alexander. “Tyler didn't have his best stuff for the first two days but he really battled out there to stay in it and when his ball striking came around today his short game stayed solid and he was able to score.”

Former Oak Hall standout J.D. Tomlinson shot the best round of his collegiate career with a 74 (+4) to finish with a three day total of 227 in his first collegiate tournament, while Michael Furci tallied a final round 77 (+7) to finish the tournament with a score of 231.

T.J. Vogel, who led UF in scoring through the first two days, couldn't find his groove during the final round and posted a 77, for a three day total of 217. The 217 was good for a 15th place finish in his first event as a Gator.

Tommy Mou followed up a disappointing second round 79 with a third round 71 to move up the leaderboard. The junior, who started on the back nine, made the turn in 34 (-1) after birdies on the par-4 10th and the par-5 15th against a bogey on the par-4 18th. Mou tallied seven-consecutive pars to start his back nine before closing with bogeys on the 8th and 9th.

The Gators will return to action on Monday, Sept. 26, when they travel to Inverness Country Club in Toledo, Ohio to compete in the 2011 Inverness Invitational.

MEN'S TENNIS: Florida completed play at the 2011 Gator Invitational on Sunday at the Ring Tennis Complex. The Gators won two of three doubles matches and all six singles matches they competed in on Sunday. For the weekend, UF compiled an 8-1 doubles record and 18-0 singles record.

“I think that we got a lot of things done this weekend by playing a lot of matches, which we need,” said head coach Andy Jackson. “We're trying to build up to the ITA All-American tournament in Tulsa by playing a lot of matches this weekend and we've got another good event next week and then the national championships for individuals the week after. It's a good start for us.”

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