End of an era for Florida soccer program with win at Miami

Special to Gatorsports.com
Florida soccer coach Becky Burleigh ends career with a win.

CORAL GABLES — The Florida soccer team sent head coach Becky Burleigh off to retirement with a 2-0 win over Miami.

Saturday's match was the final for Burleigh, Associate Coaches Vic Campbell and Alan Kirkup plus Florida's eight member senior class. Burleigh announced in January she would retire from coaching at the end of the 2020-21 season.

"It was great to finish with a shutout and we appreciate Miami working hard to make it happen," Burleigh said. "It's a surreal moment for this chapter to be over, but I'm really excited for the future of Gator soccer.

"I have so much gratitude for my years as a Gator and I will always be UF soccer's number one fan."

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Florida soccer coach Becky Burleigh announces her retirement

Burleigh is the only coach in the 26-season history of Gator soccer. She finishes with a 431-137-40 UF record with the Gators that includes a league-leading 14 Southeastern Conference titles, 22 NCAA Tournament appearances and the 1998 NCAA team title.

Florida (6-8-3) scored in the fifth minute when freshman Beata Olsson intercepted a pass between Miami (1-11-1) defenders. Her shot hit the far post and she raced across the mouth of the goal to put in the deflection from four yards.

The goal pushes Olsson's team-leading goals total to seven – all scored since she enrolled at UF this spring. Olsson is the reigning Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Junior Samantha Tobar pushed the score out to the final 2-0 margin in the 81st minute. The play started with senior Madison Alexander sending the ball right for sophomore Kouri Peace to catch up to just inside the box. Peace's square pass to Tobar located at top of the box was calmly placed in with a left-footed strike.

It was Tobar's first goal of her Gator career.

The shutout was the Gators third of the spring and UF goalkeeper Susi Espinoza closes her career with 11 clean sheets.