First & Second Round Games
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
No. 3 Florida (16-5-2 current record) vs. Illinois State (12-7-1 final record)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore midfielder Tahnai Annis, who grew up an hour east of Columbus in Zanesville, Ohio, scored in the 58th minute to break open a scoreless game and the No. 3 seed Florida Gators went on to post a 2-0 victory over Illinois State in first-round NCAA soccer action at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The win improved Florida’s record to 16-5-2 and sets up a second-round match between the Gators and the winner of the Ohio State vs. Oregon State match. Missouri Valley Conference champion Illinois State ends its season with a 12-7-1 mark.
Annis’ goal, here second game-winner of the season, was her fifth of the season, and it came much to the delight of a legion of approximately 50 Annis/Gator fans from the Zanesville area.
Gator leading scorer McKenzie Barney, who had one of the assists on the Annis goal, scored her eighth goal of the season in the 65th minute to extend the lead and the Gators coasted into the second round from there.
“We knew it would be a tough game. Illinois State sat back and played a pretty compact defense. And that can get frustrating. It wasn’t easy to play against.” – Head Coach Becky Burleigh
“It was exciting for me to play close to home. My friends and family got to see me play and there aren’t many times that gets to happen.” – Tahnai Annis
“We knew coming in that we had our work cut out for us because Florida is a very athletic team. We tried to take away some of their speed and play a little more defensively than we normally would, in order to compete. It was a great battle” – Illinois State Coach Drew Roff
“I feel great about our year. Looking back, we had great senior leadership which helped the younger players. We go the most out of this season that we could.” Illinois State’s Danielle Mutters