After defeating Georgia, No. 6 Florida earns share of SEC title
ATHENS, Ga. -- The tricks and treats went to the Florida soccer team on the evening of Halloween as the Gators won a share of the Southeastern Conference title with a 5-1 win against Georgia in front of a crowd of 1,137 at the UGA Soccer Stadium/Turner Soccer Complex.
An unusual goal put the Gators up in the 16th minute. Sophomore Christen Westphal’s 40-yard free kick went over the Bulldog goalkeeper’s head and bounced untouched into the goal. Florida scored again in the opening half when junior Havana Solaun played a ball to freshman Savannah Jordan just at the top of the Georgia defensive third. Jordan beat her defender to place the ball in from 14-yards. Later in the half, Solaun took advantage of a Bulldog defensive miscue. The ball was played shallow by the UGA goalkeeper and Solaun recovered the ball to place it in the empty goal. Florida’s final goal of the half came when Jordan headed in a Solaun corner kick to the far corner.
With two goals in the opening half, Jordan ups her season total to 20 – one more than Abby Wambach in her freshman season with the Gators in 1998.
The Bulldogs ended the Gators’ shutout streak with a goal by Madeline Barker in the 50th minute. Florida entered the match with on a six-match shutout streak and the Bulldog goal in the 50th minutes stopped the shutout streak at 609 minutes.
The lead was pushed back out the four in the 65th minute when junior Annie Speese successfully converted a penalty kick after the Bulldogs were whistled for a handball in the box.
the Gators will be the No. 1 seed for next week’s SEC tournament if they win the tie-breaker against Texas A&M (based on head-to-head meeting).
No. 1 Virginia 2, No. 5 Virginia Tech 0
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Top-ranked Virginia became the first ACC school to have an undefeated and untied regular season in a decade as it downed No. 5 Virginia Tech 2-0 on Thursday night at Klöckner Stadium. The Cavaliers (19-0, 13-0 ACC) set the school record for wins in a season with the victory, while the Hokies (14-3-2, 9-3-1 ACC) suffered just their third defeat of the season, all to top-five opponents.
Senior Amber Fry and sophomore Makenzy Doniak scored for the Cavaliers, while senior Annie Steinlage recorded a career-high two assists as Virginia posted its fourth top-five win of the season.
No. 3 Florida State 2, No. 19 Notre Dame 1, 2OT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State enters the ACC Tournament as the No. 2 seed following Thursday night's 2-1 double overtime victory against Notre Dame.
Florida State owns an all-time record of 12-15-6 in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles have played in the championship game six times winning the crown in 2011.
No. 4 North Carolina 3, Duke 0
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A Halloween night crowd of 1,222 was on hand to watch the Tar Heels improve to 16-3 overall on the season and 10-3 in the ACC. Duke fell to 8-7-4 on the season and the Blue Devils finish the regular season with a 5-5-3 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Tar Heels, who finished the regular-season with three consecutive wins, have now exceeded their win total from last year when they won the NCAA championship with a record of 15-5-3.
In a season where the Tar Heels have consistently relied on their stellar senior duo of Crystal Dunn and Kealia Ohai to provide the bulk of the scoring, the Tar Heels got a boost from different sources in their win against the Blue Devils, the ninth consecutive time Carolina has beat Duke dating back to 2005.
Freshman Cameron Castleberry scored the first goal of her Tar Heel career just 33 seconds after she entered the game in the first half and Brooke Elby, who started on the front line in the second half, tallied less than two minutes into the second half for her first goal since August 2012. Summer Green added a goal on a penalty kick later in the second half for UNC as she improved to four-for-four on attempts from the 12-yard mark this season.
North Carolina finished the ACC regular season in third place in the ACC standings behind Virginia and Florida State.
No. 10 South Carolina 2, Kentucky 1
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- With one of the top senior classes in program history ending its final regular season agme at home, it took a dramatic come-from-behind win for South Carolina (15-2-2, 8-2-1) to top Kentucky 2-1 at Stone Stadium. With the win, this year’s team became the first in program history to go 10-0 at home in a season, while also finishing with the best regular season winning percentage (.842) in school history.
Early in the game, Kentucky’s Kaitlin Miller sent a ball deep into the box where Cara Ledman was able get her head on to it and flick it into the back of the net.
It didn’t take too long into the second half though for the Garnet and Black to equalize. In the 52nd minute, a long ball was sent toward the top of the Kentucky box as senior Danielle Au took off to track it down. Kentucky keeper Kayla King ran out to make a play on the ball, but ran through the Gamecock striker just inside the 18. King was called for the foul, issued a yellow cared and Au was award a penalty kick. The senior buried the shot into the upper left corner to knot-up the match.
The game appeared that it could be headed to extra time, but in the 83rd minute sophomore Coryn Bajema sprung fellow sophomore Raina Johnson free on a pass through a pack of Wildcats. Johnson hit a left-footed shot from just outside the six that found the inside of the far post to give the Gamecocks the lead. It was her team-leading eighth goal of the season and fifth game-winner of the year.
South Carolina would finish the match with a decided 16-7 shot advantage, as well as posting an 11-3 edge in corners.