LEXINGTON, Ky. — Florida entered Thursday’s SEC soccer match against Kentucky having been shut out in six of its last seven matches, including six straight. The Gators opened the scoring floodgates against the Wildcats, winning 6-0.
Midfielder Lais Araujo scored three straight goals and Alyssa Howell added another to put the Gators (3-6-1, 1-1 SEC) up 4-0 over the Wildcats (4-7, 0-2) at the half en route to their first win since Aug. 19 and snapping UF’s seven-match winless streak.
Madison Alexander and Mayra Pelayo capped the scoring with two second-half goals for UF.
Notes: Araujo recorded Florida’s first hat-trick since Savannah Jordan scored three goals at Miami on Aug. 27, 2015.
· Howell scored her first collegiate goal in front of 27 friends and family who made the trip from Farmersville, Ohio.
· Two Gators added a goal to go with their pair of assists tonight. Alexander scored her third goal of the season to equal her collegiate-high season total. Pelayo posted her first of 2018 and the 10th goal of her Gator career.
· This was the most goals for the Gators since a 6-0 win versus Alabama (Oct. 20, 2016).
Florida will next host LSU at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Gators open SEC play
No. 11 Florida serves up Southeastern Conference play against Ole Miss at 7 p.m. Friday at the O’Connell Center.
Florida finished its preseason with a record of 9-3, while the Rebels are 10-4 going into league matches. In the SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Florida was selected to finish second overall and Ole Miss was chosen to finish 11th.
UF sits fourth in the conference in hitting percentage (.259) and second in opponent hitting percentage (.152).
Taelor Kellum and Rachael Kramer sit fifth (.337) and sixth (.325), respectively, in hitting percentage, while Thayer Hall is eighth in both kills per set (3.50) and points per set (4.04).
The Gators finished 17-1 in conference play last season, earning a share of their 23rd SEC championship. Florida’s 23 titles are the 10th-most in conference history, regardless of gender or sport.