Florida traveled to Nashville on Sunday to take on a No. 15 ranked Vanderbilt side, the defending SEC champions, that had not lost at home since 2017 until now.
The Gators came out victorious, defeating the Commodores 1-0 to bring their win streak to five games.
To the delight of the Gators, Deanne Rose was named to the starting lineup for the first time in almost a month. She injured her hamstring in the team’s California road trip at the start of September.
Chances were hard to come by in the first 30 minutes. The Commodores have a strong defense that had kept seven clean sheets in the team’s ten games this season. They held Florida to three shots in the entire first half.
Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, one of those three shots went in.
In the 38th minute, sophomore forward Cassidy Lindley got on the end of a Madison Alexander through ball. Lindley released a low shot from the right side of the box that slotted into the left side of the net to put the Gators up 1-0.
A Vanderbilt team nursing injuries to a few of its starters struggled for opportunities. They registered one shot in the first half.
The action picked up after the break.
Shortly after a shot from Vanderbilt’s Grace Jackson that flew over the crossbar, the Gators almost doubled their lead.
Midfielder Tess Sapone hit the post with her shot from the center of the box after some impressive build up play from Florida.
Both teams had a few more opportunities but failed to convert until Florida tried to bleed the clock out as the game winded down.
Vanderbilt’s best chances came in the dying minutes of the game. With one minute on the clock, defender Ella Shamburger’s cross found the head of last season’s top scorer Haley Hopkins, but her header was saved by Susi Espinoza.
On their next attack, Madi Allens’ header sailed over the crossbar. Florida was then able to see out the game.
Outlook for the Gators
The Gators move to 3-0 in SEC play and sport a 7-4 record overall. The squad hosts a surging No. 14 Texas A&M team on Sunday in their next match.
Florida’s win streak now sits at five. The team has scored 14 times while conceding just twice over that stretch.