<P><B>Aug. 27, 2004</B>
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GAINESVILLE, FL - The University of Dayton women's soccer team was 3:14 from forcing No. 12 University of Florida to overtime, before falling 3-2 at Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL Friday night. Junior <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/lowstuter_katie00.html">Katie Lowstuter</a> (Cincinnati, OH) and freshman <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/sirmans_courtney00.html">Courtney Sirmans</a> (Dayton, OH) each scored goals in the Flyers' second-half comeback.
<P>The Gators, in front of a home-opening crowd of 1,273, struck for the first two goals of the match. In the 17th minute, Christine Johnson slammed a ball from eight yards out, which deflected off the near post, skidded along the goal line and bounced in off the far post. Cherry Pickman and Ashley Kellgren provided assists.
<P>Once UD settled into the lightning-fast pace of the match, the Flyers had chances of their own to equalize things in the first half. In the 36th minute, senior MF <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/kozlowski_tesia00.html">Tesia Kozlowski</a> (Westerville, OH) crossed a ball from the endline to the far post, but could not connect with junior <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/sedlacek_reba00.html">Reba Sedlacek</a> (Hamilton, OH).
<P>"We knew coming in both the speed of their players and the field would be factors," said UD head coach <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/tucker_mike00.html">Mike Tucker</a>. "Once we adjusted, we were able to create some chances and do some of things we wanted to do offensively."
<P>Although being out-shot 6-1 in the first half, the Flyers' kept themselves in the match with solid play along the defensive line, made a strategic adjustment and took the 1-0 deficit to halftime.
<P>"We started with a 4-3-3 and switched to a 4-4-2 and that really made the difference for us," said Tucker. "Florida is a very good team and I felt we were giving up too much on the flanks."
<P>But the Gators extended the lead to 2-0 in the 57th minute as Jasmine Johnson finished Kellgren's corner kick with a diving header at the near post.
<P>The Flyers' adjustments paid off as UD tied the match on similar, back-to-back goals 15 minutes apart. Five minutes after the Gator's goal, senior D <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/simonetti_jen00.html">Jen Simonetti</a> (Copley, OH) served a free kick into the box, it bounced around in heavy traffic but squirted free to a wide-open Lowstuter, who scored unassisted from eight yards out to the near side.
<P>In the 77th minute, another Simonetti restart found the feet of Sirmans, who chipped it past UF keeper Brittni Goodwin from point-blank range. Simonetti was credited with the assist on Sirman's first collegiate goal and the match was tied at 2-2.
<P>With overtime looming, Kellgren again figured in the scoring to cap off her four-point night. The Flyers were pushing forward looking for the game-winner and the Gators quickly countered in the closing minutes. Kellgren took a long pass, dribbled up the right flank and blasted a shot from 23 yards to the far corner for the game-winner.
<P>For the match, senior GK <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-soccer/mtt/deluca_stacy00.html">Stacy DeLuca</a> (Maryville, IL) - making the start against a top 25 team for the third time since last season - made two saves. Goodwin also collected two for Florida.
<P>Ranked 12th by NSCAA and No. 6 by Soccer Buzz in the preseason, the Gators are the highest-ranked team to play the Flyers since tying No. 6 Virginia 1-1 last season. UD, which was No. 22 in last season's final poll, also played nationally-ranked California, Clemson and Ohio State in 2003.
<P>The Flyers' opening weekend will continue Sunday at Central Florida. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. Coming off an NCAA appearance in 2003, the Golden Knight are the preseason favorite in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
<P>"Obviously I'm disappointed with the outcome," said Tucker. "But overall I am very pleased with our effort and where we are as a team. We have players that have come back extremely fit and we have freshmen that are making great contributions. This team is at a starting point that far exceeds where we were at this time last year."