Solaun sends UF soccer to OT win


Published: Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 21, 2011 at 12:19 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Gator freshman and Buchholz High School alum Havana Solaun calmly headed in the game-winner early in extra minutes as the No. 13 Florida soccer team claimed a 2-1 overtime win at Arkansas Thursday evening at Razorback Field.

Again the Gators (14-4, 7-2 SEC) found themselves trailing after an early goal. Allie Chandler scored for Arkansas (4-12, 2-7 SEC) just three minutes in when her shot to the far post hit the post and kicked in.

The Gators were undone by a goal in the first minute in Sunday’s match at Mississippi State, as the Gators lost 1-0 despite 13 shots on goal.

The Razorbacks put numbers behind the ball to try to sit on the early lead.

“That game started out a little bit like Groundhog’s Day,” UF coach Becky Burleigh said. “It was a very, very difficult bunker to penetrate. They were going to sit on that lead by putting numbers in their box. So for us, it was a matter of keeping possession of the ball, trying to get the ball out wide and trying to serve balls in. That’s not an easy game to play.”

The Gators were held scoreless for the first 80 minutes, but a pair of roommates on this road trip turned in the tying and golden goals in a 13-minute span.

UF was awarded a free kick wide of the box in the 79th minute. Junior Jo Dragotta sent the ball across the box and another junior, Brooke Thigpen, was there to put in her first goal of the season.

The match was pushed to overtime for the third time in the all-time 16-match series. The golden goal came when Lindsay Thompson, deep in the Razorback half, sent a centering pass to the far post where Solaun headed it in.

The goal was the third for Solaun in the span of a week. She is third among the Gators with six goals on the season.

Florida hosts LSU on Sunday. Match time is set for 2 p.m. at James G. Pressly Stadium. Sunday’s match airs live on ESPNU (Cox Cable channel 251). The match can also be heard on AM-850.

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