GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Freshman Honeye Heydari scored her first SEC goal Sunday afternoon as Mississippi State fell to No. 12 Florida 4-1 at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville.
The goal was Heydari's sixth of the season and her third point of the weekend after she had an assist in Friday's 3-2 win at Alabama.
The loss dropped MSU to 8-8-1 overall and 1-8-1 in SEC play. Florida improved to 12-3-1 on the season, 9-1 in league play.
State found itself in a 1-0 deficit at halftime after McKenzie Barney buried a shot in the fifth minute. The Bulldogs, however, came out of the locker room determined to equalize, and they did with Heydari's goal in the 47th minute.
Senior Jasmine Simmons sent a ball into the UF 18-yard box that Madison McKee headed over to Heydari. The Jackson, Tenn., native settled the ball to her right and beat Gators' goalie Taylor Burke with a shot to the near post.
Despite constant offensive pressure from the Gators, the Bulldogs kept the match level until Florida's Jo Dragotta hit her second game-winner of the weekend with a 20-yard strike to the upper corner.
"I thought we started the match slowly and gave them the upper hand," Neil Macdonald said. "I was proud of the way we worked and competed in the second half. Florida is a great team that is fast, athletic and well-coached, and I felt like we gave them a really good battle."
Florida hit the same spot six minutes later to extend the lead to 3-1. The Gators were fouled at the top of the MSU 18-yard box, and Erika Tymrak, who assisted UF's opening goal, sent a rocket into the net past an out-stretched Rosson.
Rosson made four saves before a red card sent her off with 10 minutes to play. Florida capped the scoring as Dragotta beat sophomore CJ Winship with the ensuing penalty kick.
Winship, a Ridgeland, Miss., native, made a pair of saves over the match's final minutes.
Mississippi State returns to the home pitch next weekend, hosting Georgia at 7 p.m. Friday and Arkansas Sunday in a 3 p.m. kickoff on ESPNU.
Mississippi State 8-8-1 (1-8-1) vs. Florida 14-3-1 (9-1-0)
Date: 10/14/2012 Attendance: 691
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Mississippi State... 0 1 - 1
Florida............. 1 3 - 4
1. 4:33 UF Barney, Mckenzie (Tymrak, Erika) - 10 yards from the right side
3. 70:47 UF Dragotta, Jo (Speese, Annie) - 20 yards on the uper corner
4. 76:53 UF Tymrak, Erika (unassisted) - 20 yards off the free kick
5. 80:23 UF Dragotta, Jo (unassisted) - 20 yards off the free kick
Shots: Mississippi State 3, Florida 25
Saves: Mississippi State 6 (Skylar Rosson 4; Cj Winship 2), Florida 1(Burke, Taylor 1)