Unable to hold onto its lead, the No. 14 Missouri soccer team lost to the No. 9 Florida Gators Friday night 2-1 at Florida.
Before this game, Missouri had the best start in program history with a 12-2 record through its first 14 games. Both teams had 7-1 conference records.
Florida had just come off a 2-1 road win over then-No. 5 Texas A&M last Sunday. After the loss in Gainesville, Fla., the Tigers fell to 12-3 overall and 7-2 in the Southeastern Conference while the Gators improved to 11-3-1 and 8-1.
Missouri’s offense began the game strong with many scoring chances throughout the first half, but Florida’s goalkeeper Taylor Burke made the saves to keep the Tigers from scoring within the first few minutes. In the third minute, Taylor Grant headed a shot, but the Gator’s goalie came out of nowhere to block it.
Senior Jessica Greer scored Mizzou’s goal in the 26th minute by rebounding a corner kick shot by junior Alyssa Diggs. This was Greer’s third goal of the season and Digg’s first assist of the year
Florida’s defense continued to keep the Tigers aggressive performance from being effective in the first half. Junior Brooke Williams headed a long shot toward the far post in the last few minutes, but, again, Burke retrieved the shot as the attempt went over the crossbar.
Florida not only played great defense, but their offense immediately dominated coming out in the second half. The Gators scored in the 53rd minute to tie it up, and with less than five minutes remaining, the Gators scored again to take the lead.
The Gators are in the midst of an eight-game winning streak. With only four regular season games remain, the Gators’ win pushes them ahead of the Tigers in the SEC East. If the teams are tied in the division at the end of the season, the first SEC Tournament seeding tiebreaker is head-to-head competition.
The Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to face Alabama at noon on Sunday, Oct. 14.