No. 9 UCLA Hands No. 6 Florida Its Second Straight Loss At Illini Challenge
Sept. 6, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 6 University of Florida soccer team (3-2, 0-0 SEC) dropped its second consecutive match of its Midwest weekend trip, falling Sunday 3-0 to No. 9 UCLA (3-1-1, 0-0 Pac 10) in the final day of action of the Illini Challenge Cup Presented by Gameday Spirit at the Illinois Soccer Stadium.
All of the Bruin scoring came in the second half. Early in the second half, the Bruins intercepted the ball deep in the Gator half. Kristina Larsen's pass found Sydney Leroux moving diagonally in the box and Leroux made a short shot in the 51st minute for her sixth goal of the season.
The Bruins scored again in the 75th minute when Kristina Larsen hit a hard shot to the far post lower corner when the ball off an UF deflection of an Ahsha Smith shot came to her feet.
A free kick led to the Bruins' final goal in 88th minute. Kara Lang took the 20-yard shot and her shot kicked off the cross bar and landed behind the goal line.
UF goalkeeper Katie Fraine was credited with a collegiate-high nine saves Sunday afternoon. Her third save of the match came in the 28th minute when Leroux looked to take advantage of a 1v1 opportunity after intercepting the ball deep in the UF half. Fraine deflected the shot out for a Bruin corner kick. Later in the opening half, a Bruin cross found Larsen looking to make a short shot at the center of the net, but Fraine made the stop.
The Gator attack had some good looks at the UCLA goal. In the 38th minute Natalia Torosian intercepted the ball and brought it down the right side of the box. Her low cross across the UCLA goal couldn't find the foot of any Gators in the box.
With a minute left in the half, the Gators were awarded a free kick at the top of the attacking third of the UCLA box. The kick by Lauren Hyde was saved out for a Gator corner kick, With time ticking down, Nicky Kit's kick found Brooke Thigpen, but her shot was blocked by an UCLA defender.
With about 21 minutes left in the second half, Holly King brought the ball down the middle of the field. She led Lindsay Thompson with a pass which Thompson ran down on the right sideline. Thompson's cross into the box found Thigpen but her shot was blocked by an UCLA defender.
A Kit corner kick looked to have led to a Gator score at in the 78th minute. The ball found King's foot but the save by Chante Sandiford was ruled as made in front of the goal line.
UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh thought UCLA had the physical advantage today, something that the Gators will need to correct for better future results.
"UCLA did not sit it, they put us under pressure and I thought they got the better physical part of the game. That was probably the most disappointing for us because we need to raise our game to another level to compete," Burleigh said. "That is a good lesson to learn this early in the season.
"This weekend exposed some things in us which is exactly why we play games like this. I think as a team, we have to be physically tougher defensively. I thought when it came to 50-50 balls and winning balls in the air, I though UCLA out played us in this game today. We also have to be composed on offense. Those are two very different skills and they are hard to combine, but that is our goal to combine physical toughness with composure on the ball," Burleigh continued. "We want to get better in time for the SEC and post season."
Next up, Florida returns home to begin a six-match home stand. The Gators play host to No. 24 Duke (2-2, 0-0 ACC) on Friday, Sept. 11. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium. Friday's match can be heard live on WRUF AM 850 with Adam Schick and Matthew Stubbington covering the action. Live, streaming video of the match is also available on GatorVision - click on the GatorVision icon at www.GatorZone.com to get complete information.
Scoring Summary: 1st 2nd Final Florida 0 0 0 UCLA 0 3 3
Scoring: UCLA: Sydney Leroux (Kristina Larsen) 50:14 UCLA: Larsen (Ahsha Smith) 74:13 UCLA: Kara Ling (free kick) 87:04
Goalkeepers: Minutes Saves GA Florida Katie Fraine 90:00 9 3 UCLA Chante Sandiford 90:00 3 0
Statistical Summary: UF UCLA Shots 4 22 Shots on goal 3 12 Saves 9 3 Corner Kicks 3 5 Fouls 15 18 Offside 3 6