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NCAAW: No. 7 Florida overpowers Iowa State 5-2 in season opener

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Via University of Florida) – The 2016 season opened for the University of Florida soccer team with a 5-2 win over Iowa State Friday evening in front of a James G. Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,293.

Gators’ 2016 scoring started with a give-and-go play. Sophomore Mayra Pelayo sent the ball to Savannah Jordan, who was standing with back to goal at top of the 18-yard box. Pelayo continued her run into the box, receiving the ball back off a one-touch from Jordan. She moved deeper in the box before sending a curling 10-yard shot which scored at the upper far post corner.

Florida’s second goal came shortly before halftime. Senior Meggie Dougherty Howard received the ball off a throw-in at the top of the Cyclones final defensive third. She sent the ball across to sophomore Melanie Monteagudo, located just above the far side of the 18-yard box. She took a touch, looked up and launched a left-footed 22-yard shot that just went under the crossbar to score in the 42nd minute. It was her first goal as a Gator.

Two goals in less than two minutes pushed the Gators lead out to 4-0 early in the second half. Gabby Seiler sent the ball to Jordan, who was just inside the top of the Cyclone box. She immediately touched the ball back to just above the box to find sophomore Sarah Troccoli. The 20-yard shot off Troccoli’s left foot dipped under the crossbar to score in the 48th minute.

A pair of senior combined to score the next Gator goal in the 49th minute. Pelayo passed the ball to Jordan in the middle of the ISU box. Jordan took a touch toward top of the 18-yard box and then sent it to Dougherty Howard, who had moved to just above the box. Dougherty Howard took a touch toward goal before scoring on a 16-yard shot.

The Cyclones closed the lead to two after scoring twice within a 10-minute span. Senior Koree Willer scored ISU’s first goal of the season at 53:58 off an assist from Mia McAleer. Then Klasey Medelberg scored off a 26-yard shot in the 63rd minute.

Jordan scored on an unassisted goal from eight yards in the 68th minute to give the Gators the final margin. That goal was No. 66 of her career, moving her into a tie for third on the Gators career goal list with Danielle Fotopoulos.

Worth Noting

Pelayo also scored the Gators’ first goal in the 2015 opener at UCF. She used her left foot to score her first collegiate goal in the 32nd minute off a 22-yard shot.

Jordan has scored a goal in each of her four season-opening matches. Her career total of 66 goals is the most among the nation’s current players.

Tonight is the 12th time a Gator has recorded three or more assists in a match. Jordan is the first with three assists since Annie Speese’s trio versus Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 11, 2011.

This is the first time since the 2001 season that Florida has recorded 30 shots in a match.

This is the most goals for the Gators in an opening match since Florida’s 5-2 win over Utah in 2001.

Florida’s starting lineup included one true freshmen – Julia Lester. At least one Gator freshman has started 17 of the program’s 22 season openers. Also among the starting Gators are two other newcomers. Erika Nelson transferred from Maryland and will play her redshirt senior year at UF. Gabby Seiler joined Florida in the fall of 2015 after playing her first two seasons at Georgia. She sat out the 2015 season due to Southeastern Conference transfer rules.


Florida: 1-0-0, 0-0 SEC

Iowa State: 0-1-0, 0-0 Big 12

What the Gators Said:

On her overall impression of Florida’s first match:

“It’s like the perfect game for a coach because we definitely had some highlights, and we definitely have some things to work on. It’s good to get that first one under our belt where we can celebrate a victory, but at the same time, we definitely have some points of emphasis to look at before Sunday.” – head coach Becky Burleigh

On Florida’s first three goal-scorers being underclassmen:

“I think it was good just to see the diversity in our attack. That was pretty obviously on display tonight, and I think that’s going to be a theme going forward.” – head coach Becky Burleigh

On Iowa State’s two consecutive goals:

“We have a lot of attacking personalities on our team, and that’s terrific, and we love that part of it. But we also have to remember that we have initial jobs that involve defending, and that’s everybody. That’s not just the defenders – it starts with the forwards and goes all the way back. Sometimes you can get lulled into that, and I think that happened to us a little bit tonight. Credit Iowa State for taking advantage of those opportunities. You still have to stick the ball in the back of the net, and they did a good job with that.” – head coach Becky Burleigh

On her thoughts about the game:

“I think Iowa State came out strong. They were good defensively. They were very organized in how they defended us as a whole team. It was a little difficult for me – they dropped off a lot and didn’t give me a lot of space. I think it opened up a little bit more in the second half. I had a little bit of a different role. I set a lot more tonight and set up my teammates, which was really good. Our team is so dynamic and so deep that it allows for a lot of opportunity in different areas.”  – senior forward Savannah Jordan

On the diversity of Florida’s offense:

“We definitely have a much more diverse offense than I’ve seen in a while. We have a lot of creative players in the midfield. I personally love playing with them. A lot of speed, a lot of power – it’s a lot different. It gives every team a different look, so one team can’t just mark one person.” – senior forward Savannah Jordan

On her goal (the first of her collegiate career):

“The ball was coming across, and there were actually two of my midfielders in front of me, but I was like ‘I got it, I got it!,’ and so I got it and shot it, and it went in. It was a good feeling – it was my first goal. When it got to my celebration, I kind of didn’t know what to do, I just sprinted and hoped somebody would catch me.” – sophomore midfielder Melanie Monteagudo

On how a home environment benefits Florida:

“It’s really a good atmosphere to play in. Everybody’s always enthusiastic, and not only that, but our bench plays a big role in that too.” – sophomore midfielder Melanie Monteagudo

On her season-opening goal:

“I remember I just went wide, and I tried to open up the field as wide as I can. I saw Sav(annah Jordan) calling for the ball, and I saw the keeper coming out too, so I decided to whip it in, and it went in. I feel like the fact that we scored really early and put a high tempo into the game was nice. It was a good start.” – sophomore midfielder Mayra Pelayo

Iowa State (0-1-0, Big 12 0-0-0) vs No. 7 Florida (1-0-0, SEC 0-0-0)

Stadium: James G. Pressly Stadium (1,293)

Weather: 87 degrees, SW winds at 9mph, 65% humidity,

Goals by Period 1 2 Total
Iowa State 0 2 2
Florida 2 3 5

Scoring Summary:

No. Time Team Goal Scorer Assist Description
1. 7:08 UF Mayra Pelayo Savannah Jordan 10yd shot scoring in far upper corner
2. 41:05 UF Melanie Monteagudo Meggie Dougherty Howard 22yyd shot curling under crossbar
3. 47:09 UF Sarah Troccoli Savannah Jordan Far from center, 20yds
4. 48:41 UF Meggie Dougherty Howard Savannah Jordan Far from left, 16yds
5. 53:58 ISU Koree Willer Mia McAleer, Emily Steil 4yd shot
6. 62:51 ISU Klasey Medelberg Koree Willer Far from center, 26yds
7. 67:36 UF Savannah Jordan 8yds from center

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