TAMPA, Fla. - Ranked opponent. Record crowd.
The Gators soccer team calmly handled those extras tonight, registering a 2-0 win over No. 18 South Florida Sunday evening in front of a Bulls women's soccer record crowd of 2,011.
Sunday's scoring: After a scoreless opening half, Deanne Rose received the ball at the top of the Bulls defensive third. Rose used her speed to create space as she moved left. The ball she sent across the mouth of the goal was tapped in by fellow junior Kit Loferski with her right foot at the far post at 51:19.
Just over five minutes later, Rose received the ball just inside the Bulls half. Rose then made her way toward goal, moving past her defender and then placing the ball to the left of the Bulls goalkeeper at 56:42.
Saves by Susi Espinoza The first clean sheet of the 2019 season needed a big performance from the Gator backline and leading that effort was junior goalkeeper Susi Espinoza. Her eight saves tonight sets her collegiate high.
Worth Noting Loferski's goal is her fourth as a Gator and her first since Oct. 20, 2016 versus Alabama. She sat out 2018 season with a knee injury and injury also shortened her 2017 season. Her score tonight raises Rose's career goals total to 14. It was her third goal of the opening weekend, as she had a double goal effort in UF's 3-2 overtime win Friday at Florida Atlantic - including the golden goal. Espinoza upped her collegiate high for saves to eight tonight. Her previous high of five came in Florida's 2017 win over then No. 1 Stanford - also on August 25. Tonight begins a four-match stretch versus teams ranked among United Soccer Coaches preseason top 25. Florida and Santa Clara are the nation's only teams to face four preseason top-25 teams in the opening five matches, but all of Florida's meetings are on the road.
Florida: 2-0-0, 0-0-0 SEC
South Florida: 1-1-0, 0-0-0 AAC
Florida heads west to face a pair of preseason top-10 against No. 5 Southern California and No. 4 UCLA.