Lori Lindsey already had missed one chance to knock off the defending national champions. She wasn't about to let another one pass her by.
Lindsey scored eight minutes into sudden-death overtime tonight to give the 10th-ranked Virginia women's soccer team a 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten and second-ranked Florida. The goal came 40 minutes after she had missed a penalty kick that would have given the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead.
Virginia (8-4) was confident it could keep up with the Gators (11-1), who came in with a 26-game winning streak. In the 98th minute, Lindsey vindicated that confidence, beating goalkeeper Jordan Kellgren with a shot off the left post.
"It was a marvelous goal on [Lindsey's] part," Virginia Coach April Heinrichs said. "We've been working with her on getting her shot on the frame. She found a good spot to be in and we got her the ball."
Lindsey had a far easier chance 10 minutes into the second half. Virginia midfielder Katie Tracy was pulled down in the box, but Lindsey's penalty kick was stopped by Kellgren.
"I was definitely disappointed," Lindsey said. "But I couldn't dwell on that, because I would've been hurting the team."
Virginia got on the board in the 17th minute when Angela Hucles, the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer, slipped behind the Gators' defense and beat Kellgren one-on-one.
Florida forward Andi Sellers tied the game in the 60th minute with a blast that tucked under the crossbar.
The Cavaliers became the first team to score on the Gators in six games, and Virginia goalkeeper Julie Harris's five saves helped shut down a Florida offense that scored 11 goals against Louisiana State on Sept. 24.
"She played aggressively with her feet," Heinrichs said of her junior goalkeeper. "She played higher tonight; she's learned how much it helps the defenders in front of her."
Since Virginia plays perennial NCAA power North Carolina at least once a year, the Cavaliers said the prospect of playing the Gators did not faze them in the slightest.
"We came in knowing we could beat this team," Lindsey said.
"We have a lot of respect for Virginia," Florida Coach Becky Burleigh said. "They have enough talent to beat any team in the country on any night."
Heinrichs said the victory confirms that the Cavaliers belong in the top 10.
"I'm proud of the players and I'm happy for them," Heinrichs said. "This win puts us in a position to believe we can beat anyone."