UF Soccer: Gators Open 2021 With 5-1 Win Over College of Charleston

Delaney Tauzel (#25) celebrates her first Gator goal Saturday in Florida’s 5-1 win over College of Charleston. Tauzel was one of three Gator freshmen to score goals Saturday.
Photo By: Hannah White

Courtesy of University Athletic Association


In the Gators’ first match back in almost 100 calendar days, Florida soccer kicked off their spring calendar with a 5-1 win Saturday over College of Charleston.

Besides neutral site matchups with LSU (March 14) and Georgia (March 28), the Gators face five non-conference opponents this spring.

It was the first time Florida and College of Charleston have played each other. The scheduling came after Florida’s game vs. FAU on Friday was canceled due to COVID complications on Florida Atlantic’s team.

Saturday’s scoring:

The scoring opened off a corner from the Gators when Laney Steed sent one into the box for Parker Roberts, who headed the ball into the back of the net.

A strong Gator defense that allowed just three shots on goal kept the Gators in the lead all day.

In the 41st minute, a penalty kick drawn by Florida gave Maddy Rhodes the opportunity to extend the lead to two, and she did.

Florida went into the half with a 2-0 lead.

The melee of scoring came in between the 63rd minute and 72nd minute as the Gators tacked on three goals within the span of nine minutes.

A College of Charleston goal also wedged in between the span, but a strong Gator attack overwhelmed any comeback effort from the Cougars.

Notable scores came from freshman Beata Olsson, who scored her first two goals in her Gator debut. She joined the team in January.

The Swedish forward is the first freshman Gator since Savannah Jordan in 2013 to score two goals in their Gator debut.

Her first goal came with the help of Madison Alexander, who put the ball to Olsson’s feet before ultimately finishing in the back of the net.

She tacked on another at 72′ for good measure off the assist from Ava Kuyken.

Olsson and Rhodes weren’t the only freshman standouts, as midfielder freshman Delaney Tauzel put in a goal of her own at 68′, her first collegiate goal.

Assisting on Tauzel’s goal was once again Laney Steed, her second of the game, which tied her collegiate career best for assists in a single game.

Worth noting:

Passing the torch

  *   After Parker Robert’s game-opening goal, the next four Gator goals were all scored by freshmen.
  *   Beata Olsson’s two goals on Saturday sets a record for the first Gator freshman to score two goals in their first match appearance since Savannah Jordan in 2013
  *   Midfielder Laney Steed tied a collegiate-best two assists today. Her last two-assist game came just last fall in the Gators’ overtime comeback 6-5 win over Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Florida: (3-7-1, 1-6-1 SEC)
College of Charleston: (0-1 — did not play in fall 2020)
All-Time Series Record:
Florida leads 1-0

What the Gators Said:

Head Coach Becky Burleigh
On playing in first match since November…
“It was such a beautiful day so it was hard not to have good energy because it was just perfect playing conditions.

“We’ve been in a really, really long stretch of playing against ourselves so it’s just nice to see live competition.”

On Beata Olsson’s collegiate debut (2 goals)…
“We know that she’s a really good attacking talent so it was good for her to get on the score sheet twice.”

Freshman Beata Olsson

On scoring first two collegiate goals Saturday…
“It was really fun. I didn’t really expect it. It was a great game and I got some great passes. It was fun to score.”

On playing in first collegiate game…
“It was really fun. We’ve been training for a long time. And I’ve been getting into it better and better so it was really fun today.”

Redshirt Senior Parker Roberts

On scoring the opening goal of the match…
“We’ve been working really hard on corners. It was one of our goals today and our main mission to score on a corner.

“Laney [Steed] played a perfect ball and I just kind of saw it floating in the air and I knew if I could just get there before the keeper, I could get a touch on it. And I looked up, and it went in.”

On what it felt like to play in first match since November…
“It was so nice. It’s a beautiful day. We couldn’t ask for anything better.

“The fact that we got to play against outside competition and a team we’ve never played before, it was just really fun. I think there were really good spirits with everyone. We’re just excited to be able to keep playing going forward.”

On team’s performance Saturday…
“I think we did really well. We’ve really been working on some things since fall and we’re lucky that we got to have fall to be able to watch film from that and take new learning moments from then.

“We’ve been working really, really hard so I’m really pleased with everyone’s performance today and I think we can only grow from here.”

Next Up:
Spring season play continues next Saturday when Florida squares off in an in-state clash with USF, in which the Gators will also commemorate their Senior Day.

University of South Florida vs. Florida
When: 6 p.m. ET / Feb. 27
Site: Donald R. Dizney Stadium