Florida Soccer Opens NCAA Play with 1-0 Win versus Western Michigan

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GAINESVILLE, Florida –The University of Florida soccer team uses a hard-fought 1-0 win over Western Michigan to advance to next weekend’s NCAA Second Round. Saturday’s match was played in front of 832 at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Saturday’s Goal:

After a scoreless opening half, the Gators hit the only goal of the match in the 49th minute. Freshman Briana Solis won the ball at the center circle and then headed toward the Bronco goal. Before she reached the 18-yard box, two WMU defenders converged on her but she was able to touch it to the left off a defender to Savannah Jordan making a mirroring run. Jordan’s left-footed shot scored from 17-yards at the far post.

Worth Noting:

  • Jordan now has 22 goals this season, matching her career season-high total set as a freshman in 2013.
  • Solis recorded her first collegiate assist on today’s goal. She has appeared in 18 matches this season and hit her first goal versus Arkansas in Florida’s last home match on Oct. 25.
  • This was the first meeting between the two programs. Western Michigan is its 20th season and Florida started its program one year earlier in 1995.
  • Western Michigan entered Saturday’s contest on an 11-match unbeaten streak. Tonight’s result was only the second time the Broncos were held scoreless this season (2-0 loss at DePaul on Sept. 11).
  • This was Florida’s sixth shutout of 2015. It is also seventh consecutive shutout for the Gators in NCAA Opening Round action (starting in 2009).
  • Florida advances after its opening NCAA match for the 15th time in the program’s 19 appearances. This is the sixth consecutive season Florida is a No. 2 regional seed.

What the Gators Said:

Opening statement:

“Round 1 — through. I thought Western Michigan played well, especially late in the second half when they started to put some pressure on us. We were happy to get through the round, and we’re looking forward to the next one.” – Florida head coach Becky Burleigh
On if the good defense from the Western Michigan forwards changed Florida’s strategy:

“I think that they played good team defense. Like Savannah said, they were solid in the back, they were really trying to win balls that we played in and their forwards worked really hard defensively at trying to press Christen (Westphal) and Claire in particular when they were trying to bring the ball out of the back. It’s not something we haven’t seen before, but I’m in agreement with Savannah. We talked all week about making progress during this time of year, and certainly we feel like we can make progress from this game.” – Florida head coach Becky Burleigh
On scoring the lone goal of the game:

“I think it was a great build-up from our team. I think it started from the back and worked its way through the midfield. I got the ball out wide, outside the 18, and kind of looked up and just hit it far post. Initially it was a great build-up, and I think we did a really good job of getting the ball there. I think Western Michigan did a good job of keeping us from scoring. They high-pressed us and put us under a lot of pressure even around the goal, so I think they did a really good job defensively. I think we can just continue to get better on finishing our chances from here on out.” – junior forward Savannah Jordan

 

On what was said in the locker room during halftime:

“We talked a little bit about going forward and looking forward a little bit quicker. We also talked about getting third runners in past the ball, so I think we did a good job of executing that in the second half. I still think it can be better, and we have yet to play our best soccer. We won this game 1-0 today, and thankfully we’re moving on to the next round, but I think we have a lot more to come ahead of us.” – junior forward Savannah Jordan
On how the match played out:

“The second half got a little rough there. Like Becky [Burleigh] was saying, they put a lot of pressure on us. At one point, it looked like there was four or five players just standing in front of us, so it was hard to find gaps to play through to find the midfield. We kind of lost ourselves, I felt like. We kind of started playing their game, kickball, but we just tried to settle it down and keep playing and…

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