Gator soccer team drops season opener at No. 20 South Florida

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TAMPA — The debut season of new Florida soccer coach Tony Amato started on the wrong foot Thursday with a 2-1 loss to No. 20 South Florida.

"South Florida played like a seasoned team that's ranked in the top 20," Amato said. "They made it difficult on us. Some of the positives were that I thought Alexa (Goldberg) did a really good job in goal. Overall, the team grinded, worked hard and found a way to get the goal after halftime. That was a great finish by Kit [Loferski] to come out of halftime and do that.

"Of course, there are a lot of things we need to work on. We are trying to figure it all out. We've got some work to do. We've got some work to do but we saw where we are and we'll get to work tomorrow."

USF took the lead into halftime after Chloe Zamiela scored in the 40th minute.

The Gators came out of halftime on attack, as graduate Kit Loferski knotted the score in the 47th minute. Sophomore Cece Price sent a cross forward and Loferski got the step on her defender to chip the Bulls keeper for the tying goal.

USF hit the go-ahead goal in the 50th minute from Madeline Penman-Derstine off a nice connecting passes from Sydny Nasello and Paula Leblic.

Florida opens a three-match homestand Sunday against Texas. The Longhorns lost 4-0 Thursday at UCF. Match Sunday is scheduled for a noon start at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.