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Florida Gators soccer
Florida Gators soccer athletic logo

University University of Florida
Conference SEC
Location Gainesville, FL
Head Coach Becky Burleigh (15th year)
Stadium James G. Pressly Stadium
(Capacity: 4,500)
Nickname Florida Gators
Colors Blue and Orange

             

NCAA Tournament Champions
1998
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Conference Tournament Champions
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007
Conference Regular Season Champions
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009

The Florida Gators women's soccer team represents the University of Florida located in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators compete in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I and the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

The University of Florida first fielded a women's varsity soccer team in the fall of 1995. Since then, the Gators have won ten SEC championships, eight SEC tournament titles, and the 1998 NCAA national championship.[1]

Contents

History

Becky Burleigh was named the first head coach of the start-up Florida Gators soccer program on June 28, 1994, and has served as the only head coach in the program's fifteen-season history. Since the Gators' began play in the fall of 1995, the team has compiled a record of 264–70–23 and a winning percentage of 0.7717,[1] and Burleigh's Gators teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament thirteen of the last fifteen seasons.[1]

In 1998, in the Gators soccer program's fourth year of existence, the Gators won their first NCAA national title by defeating the defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels 1–0 in the final game of the tournament.[2] The 1998 Gators finished 26–1, having lost their only match to the same North Carolina team that the Gators defeated in the NCAA championship final.[2] Players from the Gators' 1998 national championship team included All-Americans Erin Baxter, Danielle Fotopoulos and Heather Mitts.[2]

In addition to their 1998 national championship season, the Gators have previously advanced to the NCAA tournament semi-final once (2001), the quarter-finals twice (1996, 2003), and the round of sixteen three times (2006, 2007, 2008).[3]

The Gators play in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference.[4] In conference play, the Gators teams have won ten SEC championships, and eight SEC tournament titles, leading all other SEC teams since the Florida soccer team began play in 1995.[5] Most recently, the Gators won the SEC championship (regular season) again in 2009, and qualified for the NCAA women's soccer tournament for the seventh consecutive year.[3] The Gators advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Oregon State.[6] The Gators finished their 2009 season 8–1–2 in the SEC, and 16–6–2 overall.[3]

All-Americans and Olympians

In its fifteen seasons of play, the Florida soccer program has produced sixteen First Team All-American selections, including Ameera Abdullah, Erin Baxter, Keisha Bell, Stacy Bishop, Melanie Booth, Meredith Flaherty, Danielle Fotopoulos, Stephanie Freeman, Lauren Hyde, Erin Gilhart, Heather Mitts, Adrienne Moreira, Danielle Murphy, Andi Sellers, Abby Wambach and Sarah Yohe.[7]

Two former Gator All-Americans, Abby Wambach and Heather Mitts, were members of the U.S. national team that won the gold medal in women's soccer at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece,[8][9] and Mitts returned to the U.S. team that again won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.[9]

Coaching staff

Becky Burleigh became the first and only head coach of the Florida Gators soccer program on June 28, 1994. Since then, she has compiled a record of 264–70–23 in fifteen seasons as the Gators' head coach.[1] Prior to coaching at Florida, Burleigh was the head coach at Berry College, where her Lady Fury teams won two NAIA national championships.[10] At Florida and Berry, Burleigh has compiled an overall record of 346–93–29, with a winning percentage of 0.7703.[10] She ranks fourth in total number of wins, and fifth in winning percentage, among all active Division I women's soccer coaches.[10]

Abby Wambach, All-SEC 1999-2002, First-Team All-American 2002, all-time Gators scoring leader.

Victor Campbell has served as the Gators' associate head coach for the past six seasons, after serving as an assistant coach for the previous eight seasons.[11] He primarily coaches the forwards and attacking midfielders.[11] Campbell previously was an assistant at Methodist College for seven seasons.[11]

Alan Kirkup is the Gators' assistant coach, joining the team after having previously been the head coach for Southern Methodist University, the University of Maryland and the University of Arkansas.[12] Before he began his U.S. collegiate coaching career, Kirkup was a professional soccer player for Manchester United Football Club.[12]

James G. Pressly Stadium

The Florida Gators soccer team plays its home games in James G. Pressly Stadium.[13] Pressly Stadium is a dual-purpose facility serving as home to the soccer team and the men's and women's outdoor track & field teams.[13] It is a lighted stadium and has a seating capacity of approximately 4,500.[13] The stadium is named for James G. Pressly, a 1972 alumnus of the University of Florida College of Law, who made a generous contribution to have the facility upgraded for Division I play.[13]

Beginning in the fall of 2009, the Gators soccer team will also have the exclusive use of a new soccer practice field that is being completed as part of the new Florida Lacrosse Facility.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Gatorzone.com, Soccer, 2008 Soccer Media Guide, Year-by-Year Results. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Pat Dooley, "Top 25 Gator teams: #5 1998 Women's soccer," Gainesville Sun (June 4, 2009). Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Gatorzone.com, Soccer, 2009 Schedule. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  4. ^ See, generally, SECSports.com, Soccer. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  5. ^ SECSports.com, Soccer, SEC Soccer Record Book. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  6. ^ Gatorzone, Soccer, NCAA 2008 Soccer Championship, First, Second & Third Round Bracket. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  7. ^ Gatorzone.com, Soccer, 2008 Soccer Media Guide, Gator All-Americans. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  8. ^ Official Site of Abby Wambach, Bio. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  9. ^ a b Heather Mitts: The Official Website, About. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c Gatorzone.com, Soccer, Coaching & Support Staff, Becky Burleigh Biography. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  11. ^ a b c Gatorzone.com, Soccer, Coaching & Support Staff, Victor Campbell Biography. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Gatorzone.com, Soccer, Coaching & Support Staff, Alan Kirkup Biography. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c d e Gatorzone.com, Facilities, James G. Pressly Stadium. Retrieved July 16, 2009.

External links


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