Florida soccer team defeats South Carolina for SEC regular season title
Senior Nicky Kit hit a free kick from 20 yards out with two seconds remaining in the first half Friday night, and that's all No. 8 Florida would need to defeat South Carolina for its 11th SEC title.
It was only Kit's second goal of the year.
“The clock was stopped so I told myself to take my time and I went through everything Coach Vic (Campbell) taught me: to use my leg, don’t aim – just kick it because you know where you are going to kick it,” Kit said. “I knew I was going to score.”
The Gators’ three seniors – Ashlee Elliott, Katie Fraine and Kit – were a part of a SEC championship team every year of their Florida careers. For Elliott and Fraine, the number is five SEC titles as Elliott redshirted the 2009 season and a broken finger sidelined Fraine for the 2006 campaign.
“It feels great,'' said UF head coach Becky Burleigh, who is in her 16th season and the only coach in the program's history. "I am really, really happy for the seniors. Nicky scored the winning goal. Ashlee and Katie won their fifth SEC title, which is unprecedented. So it is just really exciting for our entire team. It was a hard-fought battle and we would have expected nothing less. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy going on the road in the SEC with two top teams playing against each other. We are really excited to have a SEC title in our hands.”
The Gators (15-2-2, 9-1-1) begin play in the SEC Tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 3, in Orange Beach, Ala. Florida will open play at 6 p.m. against Vanderbilt. The Gators have won eight SEC Tournament titles with the last coming in 2007.