UF scores pair of late goals to hand UNF first loss of season

John Watson, Sports Editor

Featured Image: Justin Nedrow

For 75 minutes, it seemed as though the two teams were in a scoring standstill with both defenses looking like brick walls. Then suddenly, one team found themselves up a goal, and the other was still searching for answers.

On Wednesday evening, UNF women’s soccer was handed their first loss of the season as the UF Gators got their first win on the road in a 2-0 shutout. The two teams were battling it out from start to finish, and both goals would be scored by one person.

The UNF Ospreys battled against the UF Gators on March 25, 2021 at Hodges Stadium (Justin Nedrow)

Coming into the match, the UNF Ospreys were on a stellar start to the season at 7-0-0. The Ospreys had scored 13 more goals than their opponents this season, and senior Thais Reiss was leading the ASUN conference in scoring with eight goals. Reiss would finish this match with only a single shot on goal.

UF, on the other hand, was in unfamiliar territory. This match against the Ospreys would mark the first time in program history that the two teams have met. The Gators were 4-8-2 coming into this match while playing games in the fall and the spring. The usual SEC favorite was not doing so hot this season.

By the time the starting whistle had been blown, all pre-match festivities were off the table, and the game was underway.

The first half featured quality opportunities by both sides as the Ospreys kept the pressure on the Gators early but were unable to capitalize. UF would have some good opportunities as well, but savvy hands and goaltending from Mercedes Sapp would keep the Gators from finding the back of the net.

Going into halftime, the score was 0-0, but things would surely change as both teams came out of the locker rooms looking for that tiebreaker.

While UNF would have some early opportunities in the second half, the Gators put the pedal to the metal and started earning more and more opportunities. While most of these didn’t result in goals, the Ospreys were searching for answers. UNF was running out of chances.

As the chances kept coming, the Gators knew they were within striking distance. With 15 minutes left on the scoreboard, Gator forward Beata Olsson found the back of the net to open the scoring. With the lead in hand, the Gators would keep on pushing.

The other goal of the match would also be scored by Beata Olsson as this one came with just over four minutes remaining. The insurance goal would ensure the Gators getting the win at Hodges stadium by a score of 2-0.

The loss now drops the Ospreys to 7-1-0 on the season as the Gators improve to 5-8-2. UNF now has two more home matches to play before the ASUN tournament as they will face the Stetson Hatters on Sunday and conclude their season against the JU Dolphins on Apr. 3. Follow along with UNF Spinnaker for more on UNF sporting events.


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