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LAND O’LAKES — Same story. Different date.
Just as it did three weeks ago in a win at home against Land O’Lakes, Wiregrass Ranch (15-2-2), led by sophomore forward A.J. Blount, used its speed up front to surge past the Gators 4-2 on the road Wednesday night.
“There definitely is a size difference between our players and their players,” Wiregrass Ranch coach Erin Dodd said. “And (speed) makes up for that. If we didn’t have that to use, the outcome may be different. I don’t know if we could still pull out a victory like that.”
Blount, paired up front with fellow sophomore Berlin Waters, proved to be too much for the Land O’Lakes defense, scoring a hat trick.
Wiregrass Ranch, which trailed 1-0 early, took the lead back during a 10-minute span in the first half. Sophomore midfielder Anne Cypriano fed Blount with a perfect through ball to set up her first goal in the 15th minute. And one minute later, Cypriano found space again, this time connecting on a long-range strike to turn the match on its head.
Blount and Waters continued to cause problems for the Land O’Lakes defense. Waters, who scored two goals in a win against the Gators earlier this season, set up Blount’s second to give the Bulls a 3-1 halftime lead. The Gators fought back, cutting the lead to 3-2 in the second half after senior forward Kayla Robinson slotted a deflection off a corner kick into the net.
But again, Blount was the difference, breaking through the Land O’Lakes (10-6-2) back line to finish her hat trick and put the game away.
“She’s an amazing player,” Dodd said of Blount. “She’s one of those players who wants to be better than she was in the last game she played.”