Vanessa Kara spearheaded Florida’s attack with two goals as it delivered an upset against Texas A&M on Sunday evening, 3-1.
Both teams entered the match on five-game win streaks and undefeated 3-0 SEC records on the line.
It was a long day for the No. 12 Aggies, as they fell behind early and spent the rest of the game playing catch-up. Just six minutes into the game, a hard foul by defender Briana Alston gifted Florida with a penalty that midfielder Madison Alexander buried to give Florida a 1-0 lead.
Within 15 minutes of the first half, Florida was able to add a second goal to its lead. A strong pass that was cleverly deflected by Florida midfielder Cassidy Lindley allowed for the ball to seep perfectly in between A&M's two center-backs; rolling perfectly to a cutting Vanessa Kara for an easy 1-on-1 finish against the keeper.
Having had her four-game goal streak snapped last week against Vanderbilt, Kara responded brilliantly against the Aggies. She terrorized A&M's backline all game long, getting behind the defense again midway through the second half to give Florida its third goal of the day, sealing the match for the Gators.
A&M doubled Florida in shots 14-7, but the Gators were more efficient with their opportunities on the attack. A&M played without the services of their star winger Jimena Lopez, who was on Mexican National Team duty. The absence of Lopez was glaring for the Aggies, which lacked creativity in the attacking third and struggled to create threatening goal-scoring chances. Although A&M midfielder Taylor Ziemer managed a late goal, the Aggies were unable to recover in the final minutes of the match.
The Aggies now fall to 9-2-2 on the season. Following their first defeat of the season to BYU, A&M responded strongly; proceeding to string together its now-snapped five-game win streak.
Florida will likely make its debut in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 following the upset of A&M. Last week the Gators led the non-ranking teams in votes with 53.
A&M returns to Ellis Field Thursday, Oct. 10 to face Alabama. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network +.