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    SEC Soccer Tournament: Day Three Recaps

    No. 1 Florida 2, No. 4 Ole Miss 1

    By: Sean Cartell
    Twitter: @SEC_Sean
    SEC Digital Network

    Box Score (PDF) | Quotes (PDF) | Photo Gallery

    ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (November 8, 2013) – Top-seeded Florida scored a pair of first half goals to post a 2-1 win against fourth-seeded Ole Miss on Friday in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.

    “Especially in the second half, the only thing we didn’t do very efficiently was finish,” Florida head coach Becky Burleigh. “We had a lot of really good opportunities and I would have liked to have seen us get a few more goals. At this stage, it’s about win and move on.”

    The Gators (17-3-1) advance to Sunday’s SEC Tournament Championship match to face the winner between second-seeded Texas A&M and third-seeded South Carolina at 1 p.m. CT on ESPNU. Florida, which is the defending SEC Tournament Champion, won its league-leading 10th SEC Tournament title last year.

    “The biggest preparation is just getting our bodies ready to go,” Burleigh said. “We will need some recovery tomorrow, just like we have in the day in between. We’ll talk a little bit about who we’re playing once we know who that is. We look forward to playing whoever that is.”

    Florida got on the board in the 11th minute when SEC-goal leader Savannah Jordan sent her 22nd-goal of the season past Ole Miss goalkeeper Kelly McCormick. Less than seven minutes later, Havana Solaun extended the Gators’ advantage to 2-0 on a penalty kick.

    Ole Miss cut within 2-1 when, in the 30th minute, Jennifer Miller drilled a ball to the corner of the net.  

    “It was a tough match,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott said. “I just felt like we made too many mistakes against a really good Florida team. In the first half, we couldn’t really get control of the ball. They scored two good goals. You can’t spot a team like that two goals. I thought our kids battled really hard and battled back but just on the night weren’t sharp enough. I think Florida probably had a lot to do with that.”

    The Rebels (15-5-2) were playing without first-team All-SEC selection Rafaelle Souza, who had departed Orange Beach to make an appearance with the Brazilian National Team.

    The Gators out-shot the Rebels 17-9 in the match.

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    No. 2 Texas A&M 2, No. 3 South Carolina 1

    Box Score (PDF) | Quotes (PDF)

    ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (November 8, 2013) – Freshman Texas A&M forward Liz Keester felt right at home on Friday night, scoring both goals for the second-seeded Aggies in a 2-1 win against third-seeded South Carolina in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.

    Keester, who hails from Tulsa, Okla., regularly vacationed with her family in Orange Beach, Ala., for more than a decade, prior to her first appearance at the Orange Beach SportsPlex for the 2013 SEC Tournament.

    “My family has been coming here for like 12 years for vacation, so it’s a local spot,” Keester said.

    Texas A&M (16-4-1) will face top-seeded Florida (17-3-1) in Sunday’s championship match. That contest is slated for a 1 p.m. CT start at the Orange Beach SportsPlex on ESPNU.

    “We know a lot about Florida,” Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “We have a lot of respect for them and the way that they play. The power that they have, the grace and the technique that they play with is fun. At the same time, it will make for a very interesting chess match on Sunday. We have a lot of respect for their coaches and what they will bring, and we’re excited about the challenge.”

    Keester gave Texas A&M an early 2-0 advantage with a pair of goals within a seven-minute span. Her first goal came in the game’s fifth minute and then she followed up with another score in the 12th minute.

    “I always kind of joke because I really just clean up goals,” Keester said. “Shea [Groom] and BB [Bianca Brinson] really did all the work. I was just kind of there to poke it in.”

    South Carolina got on the board in the 25th minute when Coryn Bajema found Raina Johnson who bounced in a goal off the cross.

    The Aggies out-shot the Gamecocks 16-9 in the match.

    “I thought we came out in the first half, especially the first 15 minutes, and really showed what we can do,” Guerrieri said. “We had some really good play and two good goals against a very good defense and the conference Defensive Player of the Year [Sabrina D’Angelo]. To knock two past her so fast was nice. I thought that South Carolina did a good job of fighting back and getting themselves back in the game. The first five minutes of the second half were a little frustrating for us. Our players got themselves back into the second half and it was a good win. Now, we will try to win another trophy.”

    South Carolina drops to 17-3-2 with the loss.

    “It was a good match,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “Texas A&M is a great team. They showed how strong they are offensively. They definitely hurt us in that first half. We got caught and they punished us for a couple of things that we didn’t do as well as we should have. I thought our team stayed strong and came back and played a much better second half. Unfortunately, we just didn’t get as many looks as we would have liked, but it was a good game overall.

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