Special to Gatorsports.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 20 Florida soccer team couldn’t find the equalizer in the final 39 minutes, as Tennessee claimed a 1-0 win Thursday evening at Regal Soccer Stadium.
The Gators (10-6-0, 6-2-0 SEC) played the final nine minutes a man down after junior Kit Loferski received her second yellow card. Despite being a man down, the Gators did generate two shots in those closing minutes, including a header by Parker Roberts in the 81st minute and a shot by Carina Baltrip-Reyes that was saved in the 84th minute.
The Vols improved to 9-5-2 overall and 3-4-1 in the league.
With a 5-0 win tonight at Auburn, Arkansas takes sole possession of first in the current regular-season league race. South Carolina moves to second and Florida is now third after Thursday’s action in the Southeastern Conference standings.
“Credit Tennessee’s defense for keeping us off the scoreboard. I thought we created plenty of chances. Tennessee took advantage of a moment they had and we were unable to take advantage of ours,” UF coach Becky Burleigh said.
“It was a hard-fought match and that led to our red-card situation. Kit [Loferski] doesn’t feel that is an accurate portrayal of who she is as a player and a person. She’s apologized to both the officials and the team.
“The key is how we respond and what we take from this match. It was a really great effort by us – I have no complaints about our effort. Execution at times around the box could have been a little better, but I certainly can’t fault our effort.”
Next Up: The Gators return home to play host No. 8 South Carolina (12-1-2, 6-0-2) for Gator Senior Day at 3 p.m. Sunday.