Gator soccer wins SEC opener


Florida freshman forward Savannah Jordan scored two first-half goals to lead the Gators to a 3-0 win over the Tide.

Brett Le Blanc/Correspondent
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 1:14 a.m.

The Alabama soccer team encountered bus problems en route to Gainesville for Friday's 2013 Southeastern Conference opener against No. 8 Florida, delaying the start of the match by an hour.

The Crimson Tide's night didn't get any better after arrival.

Led by a pair of first-half goals from freshman forward Savannah Jordan, the Gators (7-1-1, 1-0) remained unbeaten in their last six outings by defeating Alabama, 3-0, before a Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,719 that included more than 30 former UF greats on Alumni Night.

“It's always great to have the alumni back, and to win in front of them is a source of pride for us because obviously they've created such a legacy for our program,” coach Becky Burleigh said.

Alabama slipped to 2-6, 0-1 with the loss.

Jordan broke a scoreless tie in the 27th minute when she put a low shot in the back of the net from five yards out, with teammates Lindsey Cooper and Havana Solaun each credited with an assist.

With less than three minutes left in the half, Jordan struck again. This time, she took a pass with her back to the goal, turned and fired in a shot from 12 yards out to put UF up 2-0, with Meggie Dougherty Howard and Brooke Smith both logging assists.

“It was a great way to open up the SEC,” said Jordan, who upped her team-leading mark to 10 goals, a UF freshman record for nine matches. “I know the team is really happy.”

Fellow freshman Liz Slattery closed out the scoring with her first career goal on a well-placed header from close range in the 86th minute with assists from Tessa Andujar and Maggie Rodgers.

Florida hits the road for a pair of SEC games against Ole Miss and Missouri next weekend, playing the Rebels on Friday at 8 p.m. before taking on the Tigers next Sunday at 2 p.m. in a televised (ESPNU) match.

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