On Friday, August 19, the Gators' soccer team kicked off the Florida athletic season with a 2-0 win over instate rival Miami. Since then, the Gators have added two more wins and been joined on the sports' schedule by the volleyball squad. Both teams were in action on Friday and both came away with victories.
The soccer team moved to 3-0 on the season in dramatic fashion. During a span of 14:13 in the first half, Florida and Texas A&M scored two goals each to head into halftime tied 2-2. The Gators struck first in the 25th minute with a goal from Erika Tymrak. It would take the Aggies less than six minutes to tie it up and another six to take a 2-1 lead. Florida continued their own attacking press though and in the 39th minute got the equalizer from Taylor Travis.
It would be quiet for a while after that as neither team was able to add to the total for 51 minutes of game time. That all changed in one quick moment. In the 90th minute with only 15 seconds remaining in regulation, junior midfielder McKenzie Barney became the hero. Barney's first goal of the season would be the game winner as the Gators beat the Aggies 3-2.
No. 8 Florida was able to fight back and grab their third win of the season over no. 18 Texas A&M. The Gators face another ranked opponent on Sunday - no. 15 UCLA.
Also in action on Friday was the Gators' volleyball team. One of the better programs in the nation, big things are expected out of Florida in 2011. The Gators return one of the nation's best players in Kelly Murphy - a First-Team AVCA All-American in 2010 and the reigning SEC Player of the Year. With Murphy and a collection of other talent on the roster, the sky's the limit for Florida.
The Gators began their season on Friday night exactly how you would have wanted it to start. Facing Boston College in the Active Ankle SEC/ACC Challenge, Florida got the sweep winning 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-16). The Gators were led by Murphy and Chanel Brown who combined for 27 assists and Stephanie Ferrell and Kristy Jaeckel who had seven kills apiece. Freshman libero Taylor Unroe added nine digs.
Florida continues the Challenge on Saturday at 7:30 against UNC. The game will be live online on GatorVision.
To learn more about the women's soccer and volleyball teams (and you should, they are both expected to have big seasons), you can visit GatorZone for full profiles of both squads or The Bull Gator where I highlight the stars of each game.