Friday, February 12, 2016

No.10 Florida VS. No. 13 Loyola

The Florida Gators opened their first game of the season against the Loyola Greyhounds. 
The Gators led with a 15-6 victory over Loyola, with scores coming from four different players. After having doubts about losing their top two scorers, Shannon Gilroy, and Nora Barry, the Gators seem to be doing just fine. The Gators started six seniors, four juniors and two freshmen as midfielder Sydney Pirreca, and midfielder Lindsey Ronbeck made their college debuts. 
The game started off with Florida withstanding a pair of early punches from Loyola. Frankie Kamely scored the game's first goal, and after Florida took a 2-1 lead, Maddy Blakeman's score tied it 2-2. The Gators then responded with three goals in the next 63 seconds to grab the lead for good. Junior midfielder Mollie Stevens answered first, scoring on a pass from Allie Pavinelli, followed by a goal from sophomore Shayna Pirreca. Stevens struck again 14 seconds later to put Florida up 5-2 and forced Loyola coach Jen Adams to call a timeout. Florida's top returning scorer from a year ago, Stevens scored a career-high five goals and extended her school-record goal streak to 26 consecutive games. The Gators show excellent communication within a team, and truly are the definition of teamwork. The ability of the Gators to find their teammates at such high pace moments shows the skills within each member of the team. The Gators have a great season ahead of them!

watch highlights of the game here:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Florida No.10

Florida remains in the conversation for a national championship, but how will the team cope without its top player and Tewaaraton finalist Shannon Gilroy? Gilroy led Florida in goals (74), assists (24), points (98), shots (146), draw controls (79) and caused turnovers (22). “She is one of our legends of Florida lacrosse. … I don’t think we’re looking to replace her because that’s an impossible task" Coach O'Leary said. Although she is gone, Florida has the potential and athleticism to turn the page with 10 returning starters. Mollie Stevens was second behind Gilroy with 52 points and should take control offensively in 2016. She also tallied 22 ground balls, 19 draw controls and 12 caused turnovers. “She was an integral part of our offense,” O’Leary said. “She has as much of a chance as anybody. She’s very good inside and can dodge from the top, so I think she has a lot of talent that she can exploit defenses.”
UConn was the only conference rival to beat Florida during the regular season. While the Huskies failed to repeat the win in the Big East tournament (a 20-6 Florida win), that one-goal difference, which was also the last game on Florida’s 2015 regular season schedule, will resonate with the returning Huskies. If the Gators don’t remain consistent, this game could determine the beginning in the Big East tournament. While they did win the Big East crown, their play also was very inconsistent. In between losses to North Carolina that ended their season, Florida fell to Syracuse in overtime, Maryland, Stony Brook and Big East rival UConn. This year Florida is ready to bring their absolute best with Mollie Stevens, Lindsey Ronbeck, and Carly Ross.

watch Florida compete against Team USA: