ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - An early goal stood 83 minutes as Florida soccer upset No. 10 Vanderbilt 1-0 in Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinal play Tuesday evening at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
With the win, Florida moves ahead to its 21st SEC Tournament semifinal to face Arkansas in Thursday's SEC Tournament play. That semifinal is the first of the day and airs live on the SEC Network at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The only goal of the match started when Mayra Pelayo sent the ball ahead to fellow senior Laís Arajuo in middle of the box. The touch off Araujo's leg popped up and then it was a foot race between sophomore Madison Alexander and VU goalkeeper Lauren Demarchi. Alexander got enough of her right toe on the ball to send it toward goal. It caught the lower part of the cross bar and banged it at 6:20 for UF's earliest goal of the season.
The Commodores had their opportunities, but the Gator defense kept making the stop. Florida senior goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese made a pair of one-handed second-half saves - including off an eight-yard header by Kaylann Boyd and an 18-yard dipping shot by Grace Jackson - to preserve the shutout.
Both teams recorded 11 shots and each goalkeeper turned in four saves.
- With her first-half score, Alexander now leads the Gators with six goals in 2018.
- Marckese extends her Gator career solo shutouts record to 29 with tonight's result. She took sole possession of the record last Thursday with the 3-0 win over Arkansas in the SEC regular-season finale.
- This the second consecutive year the No. 8 seed sent the SEC Tournament's top seed home in quarterfinal play. The SEC began tournament seeding based on regular-season finish in 1999. Since then, the No. 8 seed upset the top seed four times in quarterfinal action (2002, 2011, 2017 and 2018).
- Florida played without senior Sarah Troccoli Tuesday, as she was suspended due to receiving a red card in the second half of Sunday's match versus Auburn. Sunday's match was the 90th UF played in her collegiate career and Troccoli had appeared in each one.
Florida: 7-9-4, 4-4-2 SEC
Vanderbilt: 15-3-1, 8-1-1 SEC
Florida leads 27-3-1.
The Gators are now 8-0 versus the Commodores in SEC Tournament action.