GAINESVILLE, Florida – The two hottest teams in the SEC square off in an epic battle Sunday in Gainesville as the No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies challenge the Florida Gators in a 4 p.m. contest at Dizney Stadium.
The match airs nationally on ESPNU with Drew Fellios (play-by-play) and Heather Mitts (color) on the call. The match streams on WatchESPN. The match may be heard on 97.3 FM KAGC in the Brazos Valley. Fans may listen to every match worldwide, on RadioAggieland.com, the Radio Aggieland app and 12thMan.com/live.
The combatants both enter the fray on a five-match win streak. The Aggies have outscored foes 20-1 during their run while the Gators own a 14-2 scoring margin in their stretch. At 3-0-0 in SEC play, both squads need a win to keep pace with South Carolina, which moved to 4-0-0 with a victory Friday evening.
The match features two of the five winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history, combining for 969 victories. Florida’s Becky Burleigh checks in at No. 3 with 503 wins and G Guerrieri is No. 5 with 467.
The Aggies (9-1-2) are without the service of Jimena Lopez, the nation’s leader in assists, as he participates in a training camp with the Mexico National Team.
Ally Watt has 22 points on the season with a team-high eight goals to go with six assists.
Texas A&M‘s defense has been stout, posting a 0.40 goals-against average and nine shutouts.
Their next victory guarantees the Aggies a winning campaign in 2019. Texas A&M has finished with a winning record in all its previous 26 seasons. The Aggies’ run is the fourth-longest active streak, trailing only North Carolina (37), Virginia (32) and Stanford (31).
Facing one of the nation’s toughest schedule, the Gators are off to a 7-4-0 start. Three of Florida’s four losses have come against teams ranked in the Top 10, including No. 5 USC (3-1), No. 4 UCLA (2-0) and No. 6 Florida State (2-1). Vanessa Kara leads Florida with 12 points on six goals. Deanne Rose has added nine points on four goals and one assist. Susi Espinoza has played all 995 minutes in goal, registering a 1.18 goals against average and five shutouts.
The Aggies are 8-6-0 all-time against Florida. The 14 matches are the most for the Aggies against the old guard of the SEC and among current league foes it trails only the 26 contests the Maroon & White have played against Missouri.
In their most recent meeting, the Aggies got a golden own goal in the 97th minute to beat the Gators, 2-1, in a 2017 SEC Tournament semifinal match. Trailing 1-0, Texas A&M got an equalizer from Rheagen Smith in the 69th minute against her father’s alma mater on her birthday.