GAINESVILLE, Fla. - No. 7 Southern California soccer scored three goals in a 16-minute second-half span to shut out No. 22 Florida 3-0 Sunday at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
After a scoreless opening half, Leah Pruitt hit the match's first goal in the 66th minute. She brought the ball deep down the right of Florida's box. Her sharply angled 20-yard shot curved in to score at the far post corner.
In the 80th minute, Savannah DeMelo played a ball through the box that Penelope Hocking ran down. Her shot to the far corner scored from six yards.
Then in the 82nd minute, DeMelo got a goal of her own. She won the ball at the top of the six-yard box to score her third goal of the season.
Sunday's result marked the fourth consecutive match Florida was shutout. The Gators last scored in the 4-2 win versus Florida Atlantic on Aug. 19. Today's result extends Florida's scoreless streak to 427 minutes. The previous record of 315 scoreless minutes came in the 1995 season. This weekend began a three-match stretch versus top-10 teams. Florida played No. 2 UCLA to a scoreless tie on Friday and lost 3-0 to No. 7 Southern Cal today. On Friday, Sept. 7, the Gators play at No. 4 Florida State.
What the Gators Said:
On tonight's match: "I thought for the first 60 minutes it was pretty decent. I thought it was tough giving up the goal that we gave up. We've all played soccer long enough to know that's a cross slash shot. They all count. Credit Southern Cal. I think we had a little lapse in resilience at that point. I think that first goal really got us down.
"But in the end we are going to control the controllables. And the controllable for us are continuing to give effort. We have a lot of really good pieces; we just have to put more of them together at different times.
"I think it's great to see people coming off the bench and bringing the big contributions. I think that's only going to continue to grow. It's all helping us in the big picture. So for us right now, it's controlling the controllables and we're continuing to fight until the end, which I think we did." - Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh
On getting the offense back on track:
"The last two games we've played we've had pretty strong focus on keeping defensively compact. And we were hoping to counter out.
"I'm not disappointed with our ability to keep the ball. If you look at the UCLA game, we actually hit our offensive bench marks, which is 500 passes, 80 percent. Where we fell short in the UCLA game not enough in penalty area. We talked about that before this game, trying to get the ball in dangerous places more often. It's going to take a gamble; it's going to take some risks. This team is capable of doing that." - Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh
On tonight's match:
"They are an amazing team. Their first goal was unbelievable - I don't even know how they did that. Second goal we weren't on our toes. Third goal that was just on us.
"We gave it our all, we gave a lot of effort. Obviously, we didn't show that. We definitely showed a little more and that's something we need to work on as a team. We're definitely going to do better next game." - senior defender Rachelle Smith
On the team meeting after USC's third goal:
"Pretty much when we have that, that's kind of like a reset for us. We're like 'Let's get back to what we play and how we play and take control of the game'. And settle down. Do the basics, what we know. Like checking your shoulders and stuff like that. We just need to try harder and that's kind of what we said. We're trying our hardest, but we're not doing the most. The last five to six minutes, we gave it our all." - senior defender Rachelle Smith