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Florida Athletics | November 5, 2016

Gators move to SEC tournament final after win over Gamecocks

  Florida punched its ticket to the tournament final in handing South Carolina its first loss of the season.

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – The Florida women's soccer team ended South Carolina's unbeaten season Friday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex with a 1-0 win in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Gamecocks came into the match as the nation's last unbeaten team in NCAA Division I play. Florida's goal in the first half off Savannah Jordan's header was the only score of the match. It was the fifth consecutive meeting between these two teams decided by a single goal. When the two teams met last month in Columbia, S.C., the Gamecocks hit a penalty kick in the second overtime to take a 1-0 double overtime win.
 
Florida now advances to face No. 19 Arkansas in Sunday's final. The Razorbacks will make their first SEC Tournament final appearance since 1996 after taking a 3-1 win over No. 11 Auburn in Friday's second semifinal. The SEC Tournament final is set for Sunday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. ET. That match airs live on ESNPU.

How the Goal Was Scored: 

The goal started when Meggie Dougherty Howard sent the ball right to Mayra Pelayo, located just wide of the box. Pelayo brought the ball inside the box and her left-footed shot from 14 yards kicked off the cross bar. The ball traveled across to the far post where Jordan headed it in at 19:00.
 
Worth Noting:

  • Jordan's goal is her 14th of 2016 and the 79th of her career. In NCAA Division I history, 22 players have scored 79 or more goals and Jordan is one of seven to reach that mark since 2000.
  • The shutout was the eighth for Florida this season, with seven in the last 10 matches. Kaylan Marckese is now tied for fourth among Gators' goalkeepers for solo shutouts in a season at eight.
  • Today's win sends Florida to the SEC Tournament final for the 17th time in the program's 22-year history. The Gators are the defending tournament champion and lead all programs with 11 SEC Tournament titles.
  • Florida last defeat of the nation's No. 2 team was September 5, 2014 at Florida State (UF 2, FSU 1). This was the first time this season South Carolina was held scoreless in a match. Heading into Friday's match, the Gamecocks had played on 34 minutes from behind.
  • The last time a SEC team entered the SEC Tournament with an undefeated league record was Florida in 2008 (also 11-0). That Gator team also was eliminated from the SEC Tournament in the semifinal round.
  • Both Florida and Arkansas registered upsets in Friday's semifinal round to move ahead to Sunday's final. The higher seeds prevailed in the tournament's opening two days of play on Monday and Wednesday.

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