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MORNING BRIEFING: Florida claims SEC title
by Paul Kennedy, October 24th, 2008 8AM



Florida claimed the SEC regular-season title with a 3-0 win over Arkansas Thursday evening in front of a James G. Pressly Stadium crowd of 1,893.

The only goal of the first half came when Megan Kerns scored on the 25-yard free kick for her 10th goal of the season. Freshman Tahnai Annis turned in her first multi-goal match as Gator, scoring twice in just over three minutes in the second half.

The title was the ninth in the Gator program's 14-year history.

"Well, it never gets old. Winning the SEC was one of our goals at the beginning of the season," UF coach Becky Burleigh said. "We still have a couple of games to go and we have bigger goals too. It was a short-lived celebration because we need to focus on our next match vs. LSU."

No. 13 LSU and South Carolina played to a scoreless deadlock, a result that snapped the Tigers' SEC winning streak at six games. Freshman goalkeeper Mo Isom proved to be difference in the game by making seven big saves.

The Florida win and LSU tie gave the Gators an eight-point lead with two games to play.

ACC WRAPUP. Eighth-ranked Florida State won its seventh straight game, blanking Clemson, 4-0, on a cold and rainy evening in Tallahassee.

Seniors Sarah Wagenfuhr and Katrin Schmidt were among the scorers in what was their final home game of the regular season. Sanna Talonen had her team-leading 11th goal of the season to open the scoring in the third minute, and Lauren Switzer also scored.  The shutout was the Seminoles' fifth in the last six games.
"This was a hard night to play," said FSU coach Mark Krikorian.  "A good hard opponent coupled with a tough night with the weather and all.  I was pleased to come away from tonight with a shutout, a good result and no injuries."

FSU will hit the road next week for the final two games of the regular season at North Carolina and N.C. State.

-- In its third straight ACC road contest, No. 12 Duke came away with a 0-0 draw at Miami (Fla.). The Blue Devils lost leading scorer Elisabeth Redmond, who went down with a leg injury off a Miami foul in the midfield, after 30 minutes. She will be evaluated more when the Blue Devils return to Durham on Friday afternoon.

-- Freshman Julia Bouchelle scored her sixth goal of the season to lead No. 17 Boston College to a 1-0 victory over Maryland.

BU CLINCHES. Boston University clinched the America East regular-season crown outright with a 2-1 victory at UMBC on Thursday afternoon. Senior Marisha Schumacher-Hodge and sophomore Corie Halasz each scored as the Terriers extended their unbeaten streak to nine games. It is the sixth regular-season title in nine years -- fifth outright -- for the Terriers, who are 7-0-0 in conference play and will enter the tournament as the top-seeded squad.

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