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Florida's struggling soccer team falls at UK

Special to Gatorsports.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Florida's soccer team set a dubious record with Friday's 3-1 setback to Kentucky. It was the Gators program's record fifth consecutive loss.

"Clearly, we are stuck in a rut and are having a difficult time finding our way out of it," UF coach Becky Burleigh said. "It's my responsibility to get our mentality back on a winning track.

"I still believe in this team and saw some individual performances that display that mentality but we need it from every single person on our team. That's my job to bring it out of everyone."

A penalty kick awarded late in the opening half was successfully converted by Kentucky's Jordyn Rhodes in the 43rd minute.

Parker Roberts tied the match in the 56th minute with a long strike for the Gators (1-5-1). She won the ball at the top of the Kentucky defensive third and then sent a 25-yard right-footed shot that just dipped under crossbar for her first goal of the season.

Kentucky (1-4-3) regained the lead in the 68th minute when Hannah Richardson took the flick from Rhodes and got behind the defense to score on a 14-yard shot to the far corner.

The Wildcats lead expanded to the final margin when Rhodes scored in the 81st minute. Richardson intercepted a Gator defensive pass and headed toward goal. Her shot was saved by UF's Susi Espinoza but the deflection landed in the six-yard box where Rhodes put it in for her second goal of the evening. The goal was Rhodes seventh of the season, which leads the SEC in 2020.

Florida finishes SEC regular-season action starting at 2 p.m. Sunday at Missouri.