The No. 12 Tennessee soccer team kept its SEC Championship hopes alive after a 5-2 win over Florida Tuesday afternoon. With the win over the Gators, Tennessee advances to the semifinals on Thursday.
Tennessee (16-2-0) entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, giving them a first-round bye.
Florida (4-12-5) entered the tournament as No. 10 seed and advanced after an opening-round win against Vanderbilt on Sunday.
Lindsey Romig was back in action for the Vols after suffering an injury during in the Georgia game.
Redshirt sophomore Jaida Thomas led the charge as Tennessee put on an offensive clinic. Thomas scored first for the Vols in the 17th minute after intercepting a pass from the keeper inside the box. Two minutes later, Abby Burdette scored her first goal of the season, connecting on a deflected shot from 6 yards out.
Florida got on the board in the 23rd minute, as Georgia Eaton-Collins scored to bring the game back within 1. In the 43rd minute, Florida had a would-be goal erased due to an offsides penalty, which proved to be critical. The Gators only got off 4 shots in the first half.
The rest of the first half was lopsided in Tennessee’s favor. Tennessee outshot the Gators 13-4 while totaling 7 corner kicks.
Tennessee kept its foot on the gas in the second half. Standout freshman Taylor Huff found the net in the 58th minute after an assist by Hannah Tillett, her second of the season.
Julianne Leskauskas scored in the 80th minute for the Gators to bring the score to 3-2, but that was all they could get.
Mackenzie George found the net in the 85th minute, and Thomas sealed the deal with a goal in the final minute of the game.
Tennessee recorded 23 shots while Florida put up a valiant 11. Romig only recorded 2 saves, as only 4 of Florida’s shots were on goal.
Following Abby Burdette’s goal, 15 different Vols have scored at least once this season.
The senior George has now recorded a goal in four straight games, bringing her total to 6 on the season.
Tennessee is outscoring opponents 31-7 after halftime and has scored 11 goals during the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Tennessee advanced to the semifinals on Thursday and will face the winner of the No. 3 seed Ole Miss and the No. 6 seed Alabama. The game will kick off at 8:30 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on SEC Network.