No. 3 Florida Avances Past Illinois State, 2-0

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!
2009 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championships
First & Second Round Games
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

Game 1

No. 3 Florida (16-5-2 current record) vs. Illinois State (12-7-1 final record)

Final Score 1 2 Final
Illinois State 0 0 0
Florida 0 2 2



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



  • Florida led in first half shots, 3-1, with each team having one shot on goal. For the game the Gators outshot the Redbirds, 12-2.
  • Annis wasn’t the only Florida player with an Ohio fan club. Senior midfielder Angela Napolitano is from Cincinnati and St. Ursula Academy.
  • Napolitano didn’t get to say hello to her sister Laura on this trip to Columbus. Laura is a freshman on the Ohio State field hockey team which plays North Carolina in NCAA first round action Saturday in Winston Salem, N.C.
  • Florida, the No. 3 seed and a seeded team for the 11th time, is making its 13th NCAA championships appearance in 15 seasons as an intercollegiate sport. Illinois State was making is second NCAA appearance and first since 2003.
  • Both teams are conference champions. Florida won the Southeastern Conference championship – its fourth consecutive and 10th overall – but was eliminated in the second round of the SEC tournament by South Carolina, 1-0. Illinois State won its third consecutive Missouri Valley Conference title and then won the MVC tournament in Omaha, Neb., with a 1-0 win over Creighton.
  • Eight of Florida’s 20 opponents are in this year’s NCAA bracket. The Gators were 5-4 against the field. Illinois State was 0-2 vs. NCAA teams.