GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Two first-half goals proved to be too much for the Mississippi State soccer team Sunday afternoon as it dropped a 3-0 decision to the 12th-ranked Florida at Pressley Stadium in Gainesville.
MSU falls to 5-10 on the year and 0-6 in SEC play. The Gators improve to 11-2-1 and 6-0 in the league.
The Bulldogs were out-shot 14-2 in the match, with both of MSU's attempts coming in the final 45 minutes. Junior Taryn Holland stopped five shots on the afternoon. Gators Meghan Berlingo and Katie Fraine each played a half in goal, with Fraine tallying a save.
State's first shot of the match came with just under 32 minutes left in the second half as senior Meredith Jacobson lined a ball high of the goal from just outside the 18-yard box.
The final effort came in the last minute of the match as sophomore Mary Clare Scurria worked down the middle of the field and lined a ball that Katie Perine deflected before managing to corral.
The two squads battled to a stalemate through the first 23 minutes of the match, but the Gators broke through the tough MState defensive effort with 21:52 left in the opening half. Ameera Abdullah sent a ball into the box, and it deflected off a Bulldog defender to Megan Kerns for her sixth goal of the season and a 1-0 Florida lead.
"I thought we battled hard the entire match," head coach Neil Macdonald said. "Leanna Baldner and Andrea Harrison both played really well for us today. I thought our defense played very well the entire match with the exception of a couple of mental errors that cost us a pair of goals. Florida is a very good club, but I am very proud of how hard we fought them."
UF expanded the lead to 2-0 with just over 13 minutes left as Nicky Kit lined a ball in from 10 yards out off assists from Kerns and Jazmyne Avant. Florida added its final goal with 38:12 left in the match as Angela Napolitano fired a shot from 20 yards away into the right corner of the net.
State returns to the friendly confines of the MSU Soccer Field next weekend. The Bulldogs, who host four of their final five matches, welcome Georgia at 7 p.m. on Friday before challenging Tennessee in a 1 p.m. kickoff on Sunday.
OXFORD, Miss. - As the lone Lady Bulldog competing on the final day at the Ole Miss Fall Classic, freshman Jordan Zachary fell just short of giving Mississippi State a title at the Oxford event.
After losing her first match at the Classic, Zachary rebounded by defeating Fanny Lopez of Arkansas-Little Rock Saturday in the consolation semifinals, putting her in a position to claim the title of the D Flight consolation draw Sunday. Her bid for the victory in the finals fell short, however, as she drooped a hard-fought 7-5, 6-1 decision to Robyn Jones of Memphis.
After completing a short day to conclude the Ole Miss Fall Classic, the MSU women's tennis team will have a weekend off before returning to competition in the ITA Southern Region Indoor Championships, Oct. 24-27, in Athens, Ga.
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Junior Gina Sharp finished four-over-par in the initial round of the UNCG-Starmount Fall Classic Sunday, recording a score of 75 for the day to tie for 17th overall individually and lead all MSU golfers at the Starmount Forest Country Club. As a team, MSU stands tied for 13th after a day of competition.
Sophomore Erika Thornton ranked second on the squad with a score of 77 (tied for 30th overall individually), while sophomore Mallory Batson fell just one stroke back at 78. Senior Jillian Jones and junior Suzanne Stanley tallied scores of 84 and 86, respectively.
East Carolina leads the team competition after one round with a team total of 295, three strokes ahead of second-place host UNC-Greensboro. UNC Wilmington stands third with a team score of 300, while Georgia State recorded a total of 301 for fourth place. Tied for fifth currently are South Florida and East Tennessee State, each with a score of 304.
Mississippi State tees it up beginning at 8:54 a.m. CT on Monday for round two, while third-round action begins at 8:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday.
HAMMOND, La. - A pair of Mississippi State netmen have advanced to the final round of the qualifying draw at the Hammond Future in Hammond, La., with wins on Sunday.
MSU sophomore Antonio Lastre came out on top against Abhaya Prakash in two tight sets, 7-5, 7-5. Freshman Daniel Sanchez defeated Alexandru Pasareanu in a quick two-set match, 6-2, 6-3. Bulldog junior Chris Doerr was eliminated from the competition after dropping his second-round match in the qualifying draw to Tommy Garrison, 6-0, 6-2.
Lastre and Sanchez will compete on Monday in the third and final round of the qualifying draw, looking to advance to main draw play which begins Tuesday.