Freshman Jordan scoring at record pace for Gators
Published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 8:27 p.m.
When midway through your freshman season, your name is already in the Florida soccer record books next to those of all-time greats like Danielle Fotopoulos and Abby Wambach, you're doing something very special.
That's just what Savannah Jordan has done.
Jordan, who enrolled at UF early and joined the Gators for spring practice, had four multiple-goal efforts in her first 12 matches, the second-highest mark of any UF player over that span behind the five Fotopoulos had as a senior in 1998 in leading Florida to its only NCAA title.
In addition, Jordan's 12 goals through her first 12 matches were the most ever by a UF freshman, surpassing the 11 scored by Wambach on that same national championship squad.
“Like I've always said, my preparation will exceed my expectations, and I thoroughly prepared myself coming in,” Jordan said. “I know that really helped me step up in the spring, and it's helping me in the fall now.”
Jordan's 12 goals to date rank her among the top three scorers in the SEC.
“She's just a natural finisher,” coach Becky Burleigh said. “We knew that when we were recruiting her, and she's just done a great job of taking care of her opportunities.”
Jordan opened the season with a pair of goals in a 3-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast — the first freshman to score twice in her first outing since Aimee Wagstaff did so in the program's inaugural match in 1995.
She followed that by scoring all three goals in a 3-1 win over Oregon State to join Andi Sellers (1997) and Wambach (1998) as the only UF freshmen to have a hat trick.
In the process, Jordan became the first Gator player to score five goals in her first two matches.
The 5-foot-7 Jordan, who hails from Fayetteville, Ga., and was a five-year captain of Georgia's Olympic Development Program (ODP) team, may not be the biggest athlete on the pitch, but she is certainly one of the toughest.
With a background that includes three U.S. Junior Olympic gold medals in martial arts sparring and a second-degree black belt in Korean-style Taekwondo, Jordan is not afraid to get physical in the box and uses her toughness to put herself in great position to score.
“I definitely work on that a lot,” she said. “If you're in the right position, then you can get goals.”
Jordan has been named the SEC Freshman of the Week twice and is just the third UF player to be honored as the Disney Soccer/NSCAA National Player of the Week, joining Erika Tymrak (2012) and McKenzie Barney (2010).
“It wasn't planned at all, but I'm happy it's happening,” Jordan said. “Hopefully I can just keep it up every weekend and help the team win.”
Said Burleigh: “She puts it in the back of the net. She's scored more than anyone on our team did all of last season, so we're hoping that she continues at this pace.”
UF (9-3-1, 3-2) is at Mississippi State (3-9, 0-5) on Friday in its only match of the weekend.
Jordan will then leave for a week-long training camp (Oct. 13-19) with the U. S. Under-18 National Team before returning to the Gators.
“That's going to be an exciting opportunity for her, and we're looking forward to her getting that experience,” Burleigh said.