Soccer Wins Home Opener 3-0 Over Texas Tech

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Gator junior Erika Tymrak played a part in each goal Friday, as Florida (4-1, 0-0 SEC) opened the home season Friday with a 3-0 win over Texas Tech (3-2, 0-0 Big 12). A large and enthusiastic crowd welcomed the No. 13 Gators home after a program-record four-match season opening road stretch.

The crowd of 3,728 - the fifth largest in school history - also were on hand to celebrate Gator Greats and U.S. World Cup team members Heather Mitts and Abby Wambach. The pair was cheered boisterously when announced at halftime and then they signed autographs post-match.

After some near misses, Florida got on the board in the 33rd minute. Freshman Tessa Andujar was near the top of the box and played a square ball out to Tymrak making a move down the right side. Tymrak took a couple of touches before scoring off a 17-yard shot to the far post.

"We try to work on give-and-gos in practice a lot, so Tessa held it up perfectly and gave it right back." Tymrak said. "I just saw the opening in the left corner and nailed it."

Florida scored its final two goals in an 11-minute span of the second half. The first started when the Red Raiders turned the ball over in the center of the field. Holly King took the ball and sent it forward to Tymrak. From there, Tymrak made a move down the field en route to her third assist of the season and second on a Taylor Travis goal.

"Erika got the ball. She picked up her head, and she has been working for us all night so I just wanted to put in some work in for her. I sprinted around and got the overlap. Then she played me an amazing ball... and I smacked the heck out of it!" Travis said. "There are two types of shots- you can either tuck it away or you can just hit it. Tonight I was thinking about tucking it away and I then decided "I'm just going to go for it and I hit it". I knew where I wanted to hit it and that's where it went in."

For Travis, it was her third goal of the season - and third consecutive Friday evening with a goal.

Tymrak finished her scoring in the 67th minute, finishing the cross set up by an impressive flash of speed by senior Jazmyne Avant.

"Jazmyne is fast as heck. She got down the line, crossed it and McKenzie (Barney) was there near post, and Annie (Speese) was slot, so we had the whole box engrouped how it's supposed to be. I was far post and got the end of it," Tymrak said. "It was a great cross by Jazmyne."

It was the second double-goal match for Tymrak as a Gator. Her first came in last season's 2-1 overtime win over Georgia.

Freshman Taylor Burke turned in three saves Friday in her second start. She was aided in the 37th minute by junior All-American Kathryn Williamson, who cleared a Red Raider shot by Taylor Lytle off the line to help Florida to its third shutout of the season. TTU's Victoria Esson posted five saves Friday.

A stolen look at the crowd before the team came out to the field had Florida excited play in front of their fans.

"There are no better fans than Gator fans. Honestly, it's an amazing feeling to have all them out here. I hope we can have this big of a crowd again. It pumps us up so much," Travis said. "We took a peek outside the door at the locker room and it was just huge today. It makes the whole team want to play better!"

UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh thought the team has some things to work on before their next match.

"We weren't as sharp as I'd like to see us. I'm happy with the shutout, I'm happy to get three goals, but I just don't think we were that sharp," Burleigh said. "I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit."

Florida continues its home stand next Friday by meeting its third top-20 opponent of this young season - No. 7 Florida State. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at Pressly Stadium. Admission is free for all 2011 Gator soccer regular-season matches.

The first 1,000 fans Friday receive "Beat FSU" sunglasses. Don't miss the halftime show of the Soccer Collies, where the canine duo will showcase their soccer playing skills. The Gators will sign autographs post-match.

Adam Schick and Matthew Stubbington will cover the action live Friday on WRUF SportsRadio 850 and www.GatorZone.com.


Fightin Gators Top Stories