Gator Soccer Opens Season with Win Over Miami

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A goal in each half gave the No. 9 University of Florida soccer team (1-0-0, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) a 2-0 season-opening win Friday versus Miami (0-1-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). The match was held at UM's Cobb Stadium in front of a crowd of 1,850.

It was the Gators' sixth shot on goal in the opening half that finally rewarded UF with its first score of the season. Sophomore Taylor Travis, who had earlier hit the crossbar on a shot, put the Gators on the scoreboard from eight yards out in the 37th minute.

"Erika Tymark passed it to Jazmyne (Avant) and Jazmyne had an amazing cross. I caught a dummy as Havana (Solaun) let it go through her legs. I just hit it and it scored," Travis said.

It was Travis' second consecutive season with a goal in the season opener, as she provided the Gators with the golden winner in the 107th minute of the 2010 meeting with Miami.

Freshman Havana Solaun, a product of Gainesville's Buchholz High School, turned in her first collegiate goal to provide the second half scoring. Tymrak, from just above the top of the box, touched the ball to her left. Solaun's left-footed 16-yard shot ripped into the far post corner in the 51st minute.

Scoring for the Gators in her first outing wearing a Florida uniform made the match extra special for Solaun.

"We kind of built up from the back. Erika slid it across and I took a touch and a shot," Solaun said. "I was really excited. It felt really good to represent the Gators. I just wanted to do my best to represent the team well."

Eighteen players appeared in the match for Florida on Friday and Gator head coach Becky Burleigh liked that the level of play continued to be high when new players checked in.

"Our depth is going to be a big asset this season. I thought it made a big difference in the first half when we had the second wave of players come in. They not only kept the momentum going, but lifted it a little bit. That is what we expect from those players because there is so much parity on this team"

Senior Brooke Chancey recorded five saves Friday, including a point-blank stop on Shannon Caspar's shot in the 65th minute. Vikki Alonzo turned in nine saves in goal for the Hurricanes.

Next up, the Gators continue their stay in south Florida by meeting Florida International on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. in the FIU Soccer Stadium.

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