[SOUTH CAROLINA-FLORIDA WOMEN]Nicky Kit says she knew good things were going to happen when she stepped up to take a free kick late in the first half of No. 9 Florida's showdown at No. 20 South Carolina. Her goal with two seconds left gave the Gators a 1-0 win for their fifth straight overall SEC regular-season title.
Florida was awarded a free kick 20 yards out with 10 seconds remaining, but the referee stopped the clock with five second left, allowing the teams to set up. Kit's shot hit the near post and went
“The clock was stopped so I told myself to take my time and I went through everything [Associate Head] Coach Vic [Campbell]taught me: to use my leg, don’t aim – just kick it because you know where you are going to kick it,” Kit said. “I knew I was going to score.”
The regular-season title was the 11th in 16 years for Florida head coach Becky Burleigh, the Gators' only coach.
“It feels great. I am really, really happy for the seniors. Nicky scored the winning goal. Ashlee [Elliott] and Katie [Fraine] won their fifth SEC title, which is unprecedented,” Burleigh said. “So it is just really exciting for our entire team."
Elliott and Fraine had each red-shirted earlier in their careers at Florida.
“It was a hard-fought battle and we would have expected nothing less," added Burleigh. "We knew it wasn’t going to be easy going on the road in the SEC with two top teams playing against each other. We are really excited to have a SEC title in our hands.”
The game drew a Eugene E. Stone III Stadium crowd of 2,548, the sixth largest ever to watch a women’s match at USC.
The Gators and Gamecocks now head to the SEC Tournament which begins Wednesday in Orange Beach, Ala.