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First time ever: UGA soccer wins in Gainesville

With a three-goal burst in the second half, the University of Georgia soccer team rebounded with a 3-0 win over Florida Sunday afternoon before 330 spectators at Donald R. Dizney Stadium and an ESPNU national television audience.

For Georgia (8-3-0, 2-1-0 SEC), it extended its unbeaten streak against Florida (2-8-0, 0-3-0 SEC) to five straight matches and earned its first-ever victory over the Gators in Gainesville. The Bulldogs had previously posted road ties in 1995 and 2020. The win also gave the Bulldogs their second SEC road win of the season, matching last year’s total.

Georgia outshot Florida, 19-4, including a 12-3 advantage in the second half. The Bulldogs also did not allow a shot on goal for the first time since a 2-0 win over Georgia State on Sept. 15, 2019, and for the first time against an SEC opponent since Mississippi State on Oct. 17, 2008.

“We were just trying to go out and play hard,” Georgia head coach Keidane McAlpine said following the match. “We’re just trying to go out and do what we do. It’s hard to believe that we’ve never won here, but I’m excited to start off with this group starting off and understanding what it feels like to win here and what it takes to win here.”

Georgia opened the game on the offensive, earning three corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of play. Graduate midfielder Abby Boyan found a couple of good looks during the period, but her attempts were blocked and veered right. A game effort from the Florida defense continued to stymie Georgia as the two teams headed to the locker room scoreless.

In the second half, the Bulldogs’ consistent attack finally proved successful, starting with a header from sophomore forward Joyelle Washington in the 59th minute, her team-leading fourth of the season. Receiving a cross from senior midfielder Mallie McKenzie, Washington connected from the top of the six to break the stalemate.

Just over three minutes later, junior defender Taylor Rish scored for the third time this season, heading in a service from teammate Madison Haugen among a swarm of Bulldogs around the net. The barrage concluded in the 68th minute as sophomore forward Rebecca Womer posted her first career goal on a wide-open assist from Haugen, who increased her team-best total to six.

The Bulldogs almost extended the lead further with chances later in the half, but four saves from Florida keeper Alexis Goldberg kept the margin at 3-0.

Georgia now turns its attention to a critical home matchup against No. 6 Alabama this Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. at Turner Soccer Complex. The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+.

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