GAINESVILLE, Fla. -Rafaelle Souza notched her 10th goal of the season to move into a tie for top spot in the Southeastern Conference in goals scored with teammate Mandy McCalla, but the one goal wasn't enough to help the Rebels to victory as Ole Miss (9-3, 2-3 SEC) fell at No. 24 Florida (7-3-1, 4-1 SEC) by a score of 3-1 on Friday night.
The goal cut the Florida lead to 2-1 in the 54th minute, but the Gators extended the lead to two goals for the final margin of victory with another goal late in the half.
"We came out and battled hard tonight," said Ole Miss head coach Matthew Mott. "We gave up the goal early in the second half, but I thought we did a good job to cut it back to 2-1. Rafaelle (Souza) scored a great goal, but we weren't able to get enough possession in the second half to be dangerous. When we scored that goal we had some momentum and got back into it, but we couldn't get enough quality chances."
Florida got on the board first, scoring in the 15th minute when Havana Solaun took a shot that was slowed by a diving Kelly McCormick. The sophomore goalkeeper got her hands on the ball, but couldn't stop all of the momentum of ball as it barely crossed the line of the goal to put the Gators on the scoreboard.
The Gators added a second goal in the 52nd minute when Jillian Graf took a shot that appeared to deflect off the foot of a Rebel defender and into the goal over the fingertips of a leaping McCormick.
Souza answered the Gator goal a few minutes later when the Rebels took the ball on a fast break in response to the Florida goal. Souza took the ball off the foot of Erin Emerson in the near top corner of the box in the 54th minute and bent the ball around the diving Florida keeper at the far post to make it 2-1 in favor of the home team.
Florida added a third goal in the 76th minute when the Gators' Caroline Triglia's shot at the top of the box was blocked, but the ball deflected straight back to her feet where she launched the shot a second time and put it in the net.
The Rebels would be unable to convert on a second goal as the Gators picked up the win.
Ole Miss will continue road action in the SEC on Sunday when the Rebels take on the Auburn Tigers at 2 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex.
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