No. 17 Florida Soccer Ties SEC-Rival Alabama 2-2

The No. 17 University of Florida soccer team (5-2-1) began Southeastern Conference play Friday evening, tying the Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1-1) in front of a James G. Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,467.

Florida began the match pressing the Crimson Tide and keeping the ball on Alabama's half of the field. Two consecutive shots by junior Melanie Booth crossed the box from right to left, just missing the corner of the goal. Booth had four shots in the first half of play.

Alabama took the lead and halted Florida's momentum at 15:16, when senior Cally Morrill passed the ball to Kylie Boyd, who broke through two Florida defenders in the box. Boyd, falling as she kicked the ball, was able to tap it just past approaching Florida goalkeeper junior Brittni Goodwin to give the Crimson Tide a 1-0 lead.

Boyd's goal marked the first time Alabama has ever scored against UF in Gainesville.

The Gators continued to take shots at the Crimson Tide goal throughout the second half. In one of the few instances when the ball was near the Florida goal, freshman Susie Beard grabbed a rebound after the ball bounced around the box and struck it into the net at 64:14 to put Alabama up 2-0.

"The first goal was just a miscommunication between our defenders and goalkeeper," UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said. "The second was a set piece goal in which Alabama is known for."

With time running down in the second half, Florida stayed afloat with a late goal at 78:00. Junior Amber Presnick redirected an incoming ball to sophomore KeLeigh Hudson, who struck it past Alabama goalkeeper freshman Kara Gudmens to put the Gators on the board but still behind at 2-1.

Hudson had been waiting for her chance to score all game.

"[Alabama] had been leaving me wide open," Hudson said. "I finally got the ball dropped to me and just kept it low on frame."

While entering the box off a drive, freshman Ameera Abdullah was tackled, earning Florida a penalty kick. KeLeigh Hudson lined up and struck the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net at 84:11 to score her second goal of the evening and tie the match for the Gators at 2-2.

The equalizer was the second penalty kick of the season for Hudson. Her first came against Connecticut at Notre Dame on Sept. 4 and was also successfully converted.

"I have been practicing penalty kicks every Thursday since the start of the season," Hudson said.

At the end of regulation, Florida and Alabama were tied 2-2, sending the match into an overtime period, the first for both teams this season.

Nearing the end of the second overtime, Florida had two more chances to take the win. A hard strike from the right corner of the box by senior Lindsey DeLorenze just missed the goal as it bounced off the top crossbar. The Gators were rewarded a corner kick with under two minutes remaining, but a diving header from sophomore Jasmine Johnson missed the goal wide left.

Although the Gators tied the game late and made a run for the win in overtime, Coach Burleigh was not satisfied.

"The bottom line of this game was missed opportunities, and us giving up bad goals," Burleigh said. "You cannot spot a team two goals."

This was both Florida and Alabama's first tie of the season. The Gators out-shot the Crimson Tide 26-7. The 26 shots are the most for UF this year.

"When you get that many chances to score and you do not connect on them, you give the opposing team confidence and they feel that you will not be able to score," Burleigh continued. "Overall, I was really proud of the way our team came back from a 2-0 deficit, but to outshoot a team 26-7 and end up with a tie is still disappointing."

Florida continues SEC action on Sunday, Sept. 25 when they play host to Auburn. Match time is set for 1:30 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Gator soccer t-shirt. Streaming video of Sunday's match is also available on - check out the GatorVision section for more information. Audio and live stats of the match can also be found at the

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