Photo by Will Russell | Getty Images

Former Florida Gators star Adriana Leon made her presence at the Women’s World Cup known as she scored the game winning goal for Team Canada in a 2-1 group stage win over Ireland Wednesday.

Just eight minutes into the second half, Leon gained possession just inside the 18-yard box after a perfect ball from teammate Sophie Schmidt then sliced between a pair of defenders before burying the ball behind the Irish goalkeeper, Courtney Brosnan.

The Canadians actually played a poor first half as the Irish controlled possession and kept Canada on their heels for the first 45 minutes.

Canada found themselves trailing after a corner in the fourth minute but the momentum of the game swung in the first half’s stoppage time when Ireland’s Megan Connelly scored an own goal to even things up heading into the break.

The No. 7 ranked Canadians will face Australia on Monday in a game that will likely decide the winner of Group B.

Leon is one of five Gators competing in the World Cup. Leon is joined on the Canada roster by forward Deanne Rose. Havana Solaun is making her second World Cup appearance with Jamaica while Carina Baltrip-Reyes is suiting up with Panama. Finally, former All-American Tahnai Annis is the captain of the Philippines team.

Leon spent the 2012 season with the Gators, scoring five goals (four game winners) for a team that won the SEC regular season and tournament titles. She spent her first two collegiate years at Notre Dame before transferring into Becky Burleigh’s program.

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