Gators to build on 5-2 opening win


Florida forward Savannah Jordan dribbles past Texas A&M defender McKayla Paulson at Donald R. Dizney Stadium last September. Jordan again leads the Gators this season.

andres leiva/correspondent
Published: Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 11:37 p.m.

Host Florida scored a pair of first-half goals, then doubled the lead with back-to-back scores in the opening five minutes of the second half to go up 4-0 en route to downing Iowa State, 5-2, before a James G. Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,293 Friday night in the season opener for both squads.

“It was like the perfect game for a coach because I think that we definitely had some highlights and we definitely have some things to work on,” UF coach Becky Burleigh said. “It's good to kind of get that first one under our belt where we can celebrate a victory, but at the same time, we definitely have some points of interest to look at before Sunday.”

The Gators took a 1-0 lead in the game's eighth minute on sophomore Mayra Pelayo's first career goal, which came from 10 yards out following an assist from senior All-American forward Savannah Jordan.

That stood up until fellow sophomore Melanie Monteagudo's first career goal made it 2-0 with 3:55 left in the half on a perfectly placed 22-yard blast, with senior midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard garnering the assist.

The Gators got back-to-back goals in the opening five minutes of the second half from sophomore Sarah Troccoli and Dougherty Howard to go up 4-0, with Jordan recording a pair of assists, but the Cyclones fought back with back-to-back goals to cut the lead in half with 27:09 remaining.

But Jordan finally broke through with an unassisted goal from 8 yards out less than five minutes later that closed out the scoring.

“It was a little difficult for me because they dropped off and didn't give me a lot of space,” said Jordan, who had three assists to go with her goal. “They did a great job defensively, but I think it opened up a little bit more in the second half.”

The Gators, who owned a 30-6 edge in shots, will go for an opening weekend sweep when they square off with FAU Sunday at 1 p.m.

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