Monday, April 4, 2016

Florida remains No. 2 after loss over Maryland

On March 28 I drove up to Gainesville to watch the top two women's lacrosse team battle it out. The game took place at Floridas Donald Dizney Lacrosse stadium at noon. With one of the largest audiences in Gator history, the environment was nothing but supportive for the Gators. The result of the game was a game changer for both teams, if Florida won they would be titled number one, with Maryland losing their reign over the lacrosse world. With that being said, the game was intense and emotional with both teams having a winning streak and protecting something valuable. The game started off with Maryland winning the draw thanks to Taylor Cummings one of the best lacrosse players in division 1, earning two tewaaraton awards. The game continued with Maryland winning possession controlling 15 draws to five for the Gators. The Gators played solid defense in the first half, limiting the Terps to a season-tying low of four goals as they stayed within striking distance, trailing 4-2 at the break. The Maryland offense tested the Gator defense by passing between player and player and attacking the goal. Caroline Wannen scored four goals and chipped in three assists for Maryland. Kacie Longo, Jen Giles and Zoe Stukenberg added two goals apiece, as Maryland outshot Florida 31-16. With 21 minutes remaining, Maryland went on an 8-0 run without allowing the Gators to score again until there were just under nine minutes to go. By that time the Terps were up 13-4 and Florida's chances were washed away. With a loss like this comes reflection time. A time where the Gators can focus on the things they didn't do well, and emphasize the things they did. On Florida's to-do list is finding a way to limit the fouls, as the Gators committed 28 to Maryland's nine, which in turn led to seven free positions for the Terps on which they capitalized by scoring four goals.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Gators move up to No. 2 after defeating Syracuse

Florida's Mollie Stevens scored with 1:54 left in overtime to lift the Gators to an 11-10 win over Syracuse in a women's lacrosse game on Tuesday in the Carrier Dome. No. 2 Syracuse dropped to 5-1 while No. 3 Florida improved to 5-0. Mollie Stevens took a pass from Sammi Burgess off a reset and fired it high into the Orange net. Syracuse goalie Allie Murray had to trail the reset play after committing a turnover near midfield because she was still racing behind it when the Orange fouled Burgess, who was sprinting toward an open net. Stevens knocked the ball out of Murray's stick and it was recovered by Burgess. Burgess was off to the races into the Orange end before she was fouled by Brenna Rainone. The win over Syracuse moves Florida up to No. 2 with only one team to beat in sight. This leaves the question of who will face off in the NCAA championship. If Florida remains their No. 2 status before they face of No. 1 Maryland, they have the chance to be the top team in the country. Florida's win over Syracuse puts them in the place for a National Championship.
watch highlights of the game here:

Gators move to No. 3 with win over Dartmouth

Florida and Dartmouth have met four times in history, with UF holding a 4-0 advantage after an 18-10 win last season in Gainesville. The Gators moved up to No. 3 in this week's IWLCA top-20 poll and No. 4 in the Inside Lacrosse media poll after a close win at UNC.
Ten different Gators scored during the Dartmouth game including three goals each from Sammi BurgessNicole Graziano and Mollie Stevens. As No. 3 Florida defeated Dartmouth, 16-6, to move to 4-0 on the season and give head coach Amanda O'Leary her 100th win at the University of Florida. Sammi Burgess scored three of Florida's first four goals of the game in the first 12 minutes to give the Gators a lead of 4-1, and well-balanced attack kept the momentum in favor of the Gators offensively. Sam DarcangeloCarli Marsh and Allie Pavinelli all marked in their first scores of the season, while defender Caroline Fitzgerald also sent in her first goal of the year.
The Gators' high pressure defense helped limit Dartmouth to just three goals in each period. Florida led 10-3 at the half after freshman Lindsey Ronbeck found Stevens for an over-the-shoulder shot right as the clock hit 0. 

watch highlights of the game here:

No. 8 FL vs No. 2 UNC (Feb. 20)

The Gators start their season 3-0 for the second time in the program's young history with a win over UNC. It was a total team effort at Fetzer Field as the No. 8 Gators moved to 3-0 on the season with a 16-15 win over No. 2 North Carolina. Sydney Pirreca scored five goals for Florida, Mollie Stevens scored three goals and Nicole Graziano had two goals and two assists to lead the Gators. In the seven-year history between the Gators and Tar Heels, UF locked up its second win. North Carolina scored the first goal of the game and extended its lead to 5-1 and then again 8-4 before the Gators went on a scoring splurge with final four goals in the first half for an 8-8 tie. The youngest Pirreca had a hat trick in the first half alone and right out of the gates in the second, put the ball in the net for the 8-9 advantage in the second.

Carolina took control early in a two-minute sequence midway through the first half and led at one point by a 5-1 score.  Hendrick scored with 19:18 left in the half, then Tracy got the draw and passed it ahead to McCool for a 3-1 lead with 19:07 left. Just over a minute later, Hazar scored on a free position goal that made it 4-1 and forced a Gator timeout.  McCool completed the 4-0 run with a goal at the 17:38 mark. Florida ended the first half on a 4-0 run, then scored two of the first three goals coming out of halftime.