ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – The No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies begin the quest for their fourth SEC Tournament title in the last seven years Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. when they battle the Florida Gators in quarterfinal action at Orange Beach Sportsplex.
Texas A&M (13-3-3) boasts SEC Forward of the Year Ally Watt and SEC Midfielder of the Year Jimena Lopez. Watt leads the SEC with 34 points on 14 goals and 6 assists. Lopez ranks second in the nation with 13 assists. The Mexico City native has nine goals and 31 points.
The match streams on SEC Network+ with Polly Miller (play-by-play) and Jill Loyden (color analyst) on the call. The match may be heard on 97.3 FM KAGC in the Brazos Valley. Fans can listen to every match worldwide, on RadioAggieland.com, the Radio Aggieland app and 12thMan.com/live.
In just their eighth season in the SEC, Texas A&M has already passed all but Florida (12) and Tennessee (4) in tournament titles with their three crowns. With their 13 wins at the SEC Tournament, the Aggies trail only Florida (50), Tennessee (15) and Kentucky (14) for victories at the tournament. Texas A&M’s .765 winning percentage (13-4) at the tournament sits behind only Florida (.820) on the league ledger.
The Aggies have a tradition of success at conference tournaments with an overall mark of 36-14-14 (.672) in league tournaments, with eight conference tournament crowns, including SEC Tournament titles in 2013, ‘14 and ‘17. Texas A&M posted a 23-10-4 (.676) record at the Big 12 Championship and won the title in five of the tournament’s first 16 years. The Aggies claimed titles in 1997, 2001, ‘04, 05 and ‘11.
Florida enters the fray with a 10-7-1 mark, including a 6-3-1 record in league action. Since toppling the Aggies’ 3-1 on October 6 to pick up their sixth consecutive victory, the Gators have spun their wheels going 2-3-1 in their last six matches. During the stretch, they managed wins against Kentucky (4-2) and Auburn (2-1) and a tie against South Carolina, all at home, but suffered road losses against Ole Miss (3-2), Tennessee (1-0) and Georgia (1-0).
Vanessa Kara leads the team with 17 points on eight goals and one assist. Cassidy Lindley has added four goals and five assists for 13 points and Parker Roberts has chipped in with 12 points on four goals and four assists. Deanne Rose leads the team with 1.0 points per game, logging 12 points on five goals and two assists in just 12 matches. Susi Espinoza has played all 1,645 minutes in goal, posting a 1.26 goals-against average and five shutouts.
Texas A&M is 8-7-0 all-time against Florida. The 15 matches are the most for the Aggies against the old guard of the SEC and, among current league foes, it trails only the 27 contests the Maroon & White have played against Missouri.
In their most recent meeting, the Gators claimed a 3-1 victory in Gainesville on October 6.
The squads have played three times at the SEC Tournament with the Maroon & White owning a 2-1 edge. In their most recent tournament meeting, the Aggies got a golden own goal in the 97th minute to beat the Gators in a semifinal match, Trailing 1-0, Texas A&M got an equalizer from Rheagen Smith in the 69th minute on her birthday against her father’s alma mater. The squads exchanged 2-1 victories in SEC Tournament championship games with Texas A&M claiming the title in 2013 and Florida winning the crown in 2015.