No. 11 Florida Gators soccer (14-4-1, 11-2 SEC) has captured the Southeastern Conference Championship for the first time since 2010, defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks (6-9-4, 3-7 SEC) at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium in Columbia, SC
Florida triumphed 3-0 on Thursday, getting on the board thrice in the second half.
Junior transfer forward Adriana Leon scored what would eventually become the championship-winning goal at 64’ after taking a pass from senior forward Erika Tymrak, driving inside the box and delivering a great strike.
Sophomore midfielder Annie Speese added an insurance goal for the Gators just minutes later at 73’ when she booted a rebound off of a cross into the back of the net. Speese then registered another at 87, deflecting in a perfect pass from sophomore defender Tessa Andujar while standing in the middle of the box
The SEC regular season title is the 12th in the program’s 18-year existence but the first for Florida since the team won five-straight from 2006-10.
The Gators badly needed Thursday night’s victory after unexpectedly falling to Alabama 1-0 last weekend and breaking a 19-match winning streak against the SEC West program. Instead of having the conference championship secured heading into the season finale, Florida’s title hopes came down to the wire.
UF will now look to secure its first postseason title since 2010 as the No. 1 seed in the 2012 SEC Tournament, which is set to begin on Oct. 31 and last through Nov. 4.