UF Soccer: No. 9 Florida opens NCAA tourney vs. Florida Gulf Coast
Published: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 7:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 8:06 p.m.
The No. 9-ranked Florida women's soccer team opens the NCAA Tournament at 7 p.m. Friday, hosting Florida Gulf Coast at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
Who: Florida Gulf Coast (14-4-1) vs. No. 9 Florida (15-4-1)
What: NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament opening round
Where: Dizney Stadium on UF campus
Tickets: $7 for adults and $3 for children (12 and under), students and senior citizens. The first 200 UF student showing at Gator1 card are admitted free.
Online: Stream on WatchESPN
“We're very excited about being at home,” said coach Becky Burleigh, who has led the program since its inception.
“One, our home fans are remarkable, and secondly, we were gone for the whole week last week. So to be at home, I think that really helps ease a little bit of stress in terms of school, in terms of familiarity of setting, and all that kind of stuff.”
UF (15-4-1) comes in on a roll after winning the program's 12th SEC Tournament title in Orange Beach, Ala., last week.
Florida opened with an 8-7 penalty-kick win over Missouri after the teams played to a 3-all tie in two overtimes.
The Gators followed with a 1-0 win over No. 2-ranked South Carolina, handing the Gamecocks their first loss of the year, before clipping No. 19 Arkansas, 2-1, in overtime for the tourney title.
Senior All-American Savannah Jordan, a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2013, 2015), ranks No. 2 all-time at UF with 80 goals and is the active NCAA scoring leader with 187 points.
She is just the second Gator player to earn four first-team All-SEC honors, joining former great Abby Wambach (1998-2001), Florida's all-time scoring leader with 96 career goals and 242 points.
“Our whole team is super-excited after coming off the SEC Tournament where we think we had a great performance all week,” Jordan said. “We have a lot of momentum going into Friday, and it's always great to play in front of your home crowd.”
FGCU (14-4-1) is led by senior Tabby Tindell, the 2016 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year. The Ocala native is a three-time POY honoree and ranks second to Jordan in active NCAA scoring.
Florida is 4-0 all-time against FGCU.
“It's such a great feeling,” said sophomore midfielder Mayra Pelayo. “Getting these home games is such a big thing for us because we have such support here.”
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