Gators soccer coach Becky Burleigh (Jacquie Franciulli)

Gators Soccer heads to Sweet 16 with 3-2 2OT win over Wisconsin

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The golden goal off the right foot of Florida’s Brooke Sharp sends the University of Florida soccer team to the NCAA Round of 16. The Gators took a 3-2 double overtime win over Wisconsin Friday in front of 1,088 at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.


With the win, No. 1 regional seed Florida advances to play Auburn Sunday in NCAA Third Round action. The No. 4 regional seed Tigers were a 4-1 winner over Connecticut in Friday’s opening match at the Dizney Stadium. That match will be played at Dizney Stadium Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m.


How the Goals Were Scored:
The first goal for each team came off a second-half penalty kick. The Gators scored first after Wisconsin’s Morgan Taylor looked to bring the ball out of the top of the box. UF’s Meggie Dougherty Howard came sliding in to get a touch on the ball and then bounced immediately back up to start moving with the ball toward goal. Taylor fouled Dougherty Howard just inside the box. Dougherty Howard is now three-for-three on penalty kicks this season.

The Badgers’ penalty kick was awarded after Florida’s Julia Lester fouled Sydney McGinnis just above the endline. Micaela Powers successfully converted the penalty kick in the 66th minute to tie the score.

Wisconsin went ahead in 77th minute when Dani Rhodes put in the free ball at the near post off the Allie Winterfield cross.

An own goal off a Dougherty Howard corner kick in the 78th minute was the final goal of regulation. Her kick to the middle of the box was attempted to be cleared by a Badger, but instead that header scored in the far corner.

When looking at the season results of these two teams, it probably wasn’t unexpected that extra minutes were required. It was Florida’s seventh overtime contest of the season and Wisconsin came into Friday’s match leading the nation with 10 overtime matches.

The golden goal started when sophomore Mayra Pelayo sent a through ball to Dougherty Howard as she made an angled run to the right side of the box. She caught up and then sent a square ball to Sharp in the middle of the box. Sharp one-touched the ball in from 10 yards in the 107th minute.

Worth Noting:

·       * Florida advances to the NCAA Round of 16 for the third consecutive season and for the 12th time in the program's 20 NCAA appearances.

·       * Dougherty Howard’s goal raises her collegiate season high totals for goals (8) and points (27).

·       * Sharp has scored three goals in 2017 and 19 for her career. Three of those goals are golden, with the first two coming in the final minute of the first overtime (99:01 vs Arkansas 11-6-16; 99:41 vs Oklahoma State 9-4-15).

·       * Two own goals have been scored for Florida this season, with the first being the game-winner in a 4-3 overtime win at UCLA.

·       * This was the first meeting between the two programs. Wisconsin’s first season was in 1981 and Florida started its program in 1995.

·       * The three goals were the most allowed by the Badgers this season. Wisconsin lost 3-2 at Indiana on Sept. 25.

·       * In 2016 overtime action, Florida is now 4-2-1 and Wisconsin is 2-1-8. In NCAA play, the Gators are now 4-2-4 all-time in overtime contests.

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