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No. 23 UT Rallies Late, Falls To UF, 2-1

Sept. 21, 2012

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Playing through a steady rain for most of Friday night's match, the No. 23 Tennessee soccer team mustered a late second half surge but came up short, falling to Florida, 2-1, at James G. Pressly Stadium.

Florida (5-3-1, 2-1-0 SEC) wasted little time to take a 1-0 lead on Tennessee (6-2-2, 1-1-1 SEC). In the sixth minute, Adriana Leon took a pass from Lauren Silver from 20 yards out at the top corner of the box and fired for her second score of the season.

Florida's lead grew to 2-0 in the 53rd minute when Mckenzie Barney took a pass from Havana Solaun for a score just a few yards in front of the right side of the net.

In the 74th minute, Tennessee caught the Florida defense off guard. Alexis Owens sent a pass in to Hannah Wilkinson right in front of the goal. With one defender on her and the goalie in front of her, Wilkinson ripped a shot straight ahead from about two yards out to pull UT to within 2-1.

That goal sparked new life into Tennessee for the remainder of the game as the Lady Vols stayed on the attack, keeping the Gators on their heels. Corner kick after corner kick and free kick after free kick ensued for the Lady Vols.

The Gators controlled the majority of the first half, outshooting UT, 7-2. Florida also enjoyed a 4-1 advantage on corners.

Wilkinson had Tennessee's best chance at a first-half goal in the second minute. After heavy Florida pressure pushed everyone on UT's side of the field, Tori Bailey gained possession of the ball and sent a high-arc pass forward for Wilkinson on a breakaway. Wilkinson flew past two defenders and had a one-on-one with Florida goalkeeper Taylor Burke. Burke stepped up in the box and cradled Wilkinson's shot fired right at her.

Brittney Wade had the Lady Vols' second shot in the first half. Off a deflected line-drive corner taken by CC Cobb, Wade reeled back for a shot from 30 yards out. The ball arced just about a foot over the crossbar.

Wilkinson finished with a team-high four shots with two on goal and one score in the loss. Owens had the assist on the goal, her first on the season. Julie Eckel (6-2-2) had four saves.

Leon posted a team-high six shots (four on-goal) with one score. Burke improved to 5-3-1 for the Gators.

The Lady Vols next head to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State on Sunday at MSU Soccer Field. The game is set for a 2 p.m. ET start.

 

 

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