The 11:00am Women’s Championship game involved our two returning teams from 2018 – the Florida Gators and the UANL Tigres. The Gators were looking to take home the title for the third year in a row while the Tigres were looking for redemption after last year’s championship loss.
The Tigres forced a turnover on downs early in the first quarter with some strategic defense. Taking the ball on offense, they maneuvered downfield with some quick, short passes. A defensive battle so far, the Gators forced a turnover with less than 5 minutes in the first quarter with a score of 0-0. A tipped pass was intercepted by the Tigres #8 Andrea Paredes to take back the ball. Try as they might, no score was achieved before the clock expired on the first quarter.
Starting the second with the ball was Gators quarterback Olivia Salzman #9. Megan Bohan #12 baubled the ball but makes the catch deep down the field short of the goal line. Pass coverage by the Tigres held the Gators back for a minute but a high pass from Salzman to Bohan saw the first touchdown of the game caught in the end zone. The try for 1 was good and the score at 7:23 in the second quarter was 7-0.
With less than a minute left, the Tigres defense looked to put a stop to the Gators once again. After a tough attempt to reach the goal line, the Tigres took the ball with their third turnover on downs, with :04 in the half. A successful pass has the clock expire and the game moved to halftime.
Early in the third quarter the Tigres start the second half with a cross-field pass by quarterback Aylin Prieto #14 to receiver Valeria Loera #13 for a first down. The Tigres had a new energy and a wide field strategy to give the Gators a run for their money. Running a two quarterback system this half, #1 Mayela Cervantes ran the ball to achieve a first down and put the Tigres at 1st and goal. With a few backward passes, the Tigres were just 6 yards shy of the goal line when they missed their shot and the Gators got the ball with just a minute left in the quarter.
The fourth quarter began with a score of 7-0. These two teams have proven their defensive capability time and time again during this game. #5 Yareli Aruijo proved to be a powerhouse defender for the Tigres, putting pressure on the Gators throughout the game with flag pull after flag pull. The Gators made some creative lateral passes toward the sideline under 10 yards from the goal line but were stopped repeatedly by the Tigres #19 Lissett Olveda and #2 Angelica Inzunza. At fourth and goal, Aruijo #5 blasted the Gators attempt at scoring to force yet another turnover on downs.
With five minutes remaining in the game, tensions were running high. Would the Tigres manage to score on the next drive? Short answer – no: #1 Brittney Jabot intercepted the ball for a pick-6 touchdown! The extra point attempt was no good but the Gators kept the lead 13-0.
Madison Macdougall #7 for the Gators got her third sack of the game to keep the Tigres from reaching a first down with two minutes remaining. On fourth and short, the Tigres couldn’t cross the line and turned over the ball to the Gators with 1:50 remaining. The Tigres #7 Ana Noemi Aguilar knocked it down on fourth and goal to force a turnover in return. The Tigres were not going down without a fight but couldn’t keep the ball. With 1:14 in the game, #5 Aruijo got the sack on Salzman #9. A tipped pass to #7 MacDougall was caught before getting her flag pulled, and on next down the Gators take a knee to end the game. The final score was 13-0 for a third-year victory.