Gators win SEC soccer title
The No. 11 Florida soccer team scored three second-half goals to defeat South Carolina 3-0 Thursday to earn the SEC regular season soccer championship. It is the 12th title in the 18-year history of the program.
Florida entered Thursday's final match of the SEC regular-season as the league leader but the Gators needed a win to ensure sole possession of the 2012 title. SEC newcomer Texas A&M finished second in the league after its 2-1 overtime win over Missouri Thursday.
The SEC title is especially impressive considering the adversity the team has been through this season.
Florida lost senior All-American Kathryn Williamson, a two-time All-SEC first team selection at center back and the 2010 SEC Defender of the Year, to a knee injury after the fifth match of the season. ERika Tymrak, Florida's other All-American, missed three league matches after spraining an ankle versus Tennessee. And sophomore Annie Bobbitt, who had taken Williamson's spot after her injury, suffered a knee injury last Friday at Alabama and has been out of the lineup since. Still, the Gators managed to win 11 of its 13 SEC matches.
"I think our team showed a lot of resilience in this 13-game schedule,'' Florida coach Becky Burleigh said. "But ultimately I think this team really showed a lot of character in our ability to overcome the adversity we faced. Whatever it was, we dealt with it. Our depth really helped in that situation. I'm really proud of this senior group. They put winning the SEC as one of their big goals and they just willed us back to winning the SEC."