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Gators swallow Cav women's soccer, 3-2

From the beginning, the Virginia women's soccer team trailed Florida in the final game of the Virginia Soccer Classic Tournament, but refused to admit defeat until the final buzzer yesterday.

The No. 13 Cavs (5-4) earned an easy 4-1 victory over George Mason Friday, but faced a more physical and aggressive opponent in the un-ranked Gators (4-6).

Three minutes into the game, Florida forward Jill Stevens, assisted by Abby Wambach, turned the first shot of the game into a goal by slipping the ball under Virginia goalkeeper Julie Harris.

In a repeat performance of the first goal, Stevens, again assisted by Wambach, notched the next goal in the 23rd minute. Midfielder Kara Rao rounded out a Gator-dominated first half with their third goal in the 45th minute.

Florida 3 - Virginia 2
Cavalier Daily Box Score

Florida controlled the first half with rough tackles and restarts that inhibited the Cav's momentum. The Gators tallied 21 fouls to Virginia's five.

"We didn't adjust and fight back if calls weren't going our way," center midfielder Lori Lindsey said. "We just let them get in and get three in the first half."

But in the second half, the Cavaliers played to prove they would not be overpowered on their home turf.

"We concentrated on getting in hard and tough and especially on winning the 50-50 balls," defender Kelly Worden said. "Everyone wanted to win so bad. We wanted to come back and win our own tournament."

Worden, Lindsey and midfielder Laura Gaworecki earned all-tournament honors.

Freshman wing Erin Englehardt started the Cav's comeback by putting away a flick from center midfielder Lori Lindsey. Lindsey brought Virginia to within one point 34 seconds later on a penalty kick after Gaworecki was taken down in the box. With that goal, the 19th of her career, Lindsey pushed herself up to 10th on Virginia's all-time goal scoring list.

Related Links
  • Cavalier Daily Full Women's Soccer Coverage
  • Florida Women's Soccer

    Late in the second half, Virginia coach Steve Swanson altered the squad's field formation to bolster his offense. By taking out a defender and adding another forward, the Cavs put extra pressure on the Gator defense, hoping to wear them down and gain the equalizing goal.

    Wth 26 minutes to go, the Cavaliers had three more close shots, but were halted at the goal each time by Florida goalkeeper Jordan Kellgren. Virginia battled hard to balance the score, but fell just short in the end.

    "We fought and it just wasn't good enough at the end," Lindsey said. "We had chances to put them away and we just couldn't do it"


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