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UF Lacrosse: Gators Topple Bearcats in Season Opener

Photo by Isabella Marley

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY KATIE CALLAHAN

Florida’s defense held Cincinnati to just three goals, the fewest allowed since the 2018 season

381 days after the its last home game, the No. 11 Florida lacrosse team dominated the Cincinnati Bearcats on Friday evening at Donald R. Dizney Stadium, winning 20-3.

The Gators improve to 6-2 on the year, including an undefeated 3-0 record in conference play, while Cincinnati falls to 4-5 on the year and 0-3 in the AAC.

Florida exploded for 20 goals, with 12 different Gators finding the back of the cage. Grace Haus and Shannon Kavanagh each tallied four goals in the game, while Paisley Eagan, Brianna Harris, Emily Heller, and Danielle Pavinelli all registered two goals apiece.

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Kassidy Bresnahan, Lexie Morton, Jackie Norsworthy, and Shelton Sawers all scored once for the Gators.

Harris led the way with three assists in the game, while five other Gators each tallied one.

Florida won 15-of-25 draw controls, led by six from Kavanagh. Eagan, Heller, and Sawers each recorded two in the victory.

UF’s defense was lights-out, keeping Cincinnati to just three goals in the game – the fewest goals allowed since April 28, 2018, when Florida defeated Butler 23-3. The defense held the Bearcats scoreless for the first 35:09 of the game and then also shut them out for the final 10:43.

As a squad, the Gators recorded 11 caused turnovers, led by two apiece from Emma Wightman, Kaitlyn Dabkowski, and Catherine Moriarty. Five Gators registered one caused turnover in the victory.

Sarah Reznick led the way with four groundballs, while Cara Trombetta and Kaitlyn Dabkowski each recorded two on the evening.

Reznick had a stellar day in the cage, recording four saves while only allowing two goals for a .667 save percentage. Julia Hammerschlag notched one save in her 15:00 between the pipes.

The Gators are right back in action on Sunday, closing out the conference series with the Bearcats. Opening draw is set for 12 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium, and the game can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch.

Records
No. 11 Florida (6-2, 3-0 AAC)
Cincinnati (4-5, 0-3 AAC)

How It Happened

  *   Florida’s defense was locked in the entire first half, not allowing a goal going into the locker room.
  *   The Gators jumped out to the early lead, with Paisley Eagan finding the back of the cage just over 30 seconds into the matchup.
  *   Florida continued to roll, with Grace Haus notching back-to-back scores to put Florida up 3-0 at the 26:38 mark.
  *   Just 12 seconds later, Brianna Harris posted her first goal of the day on a free-position shot to give Florida the 4-0 lead.
  *   The Gators scored three goals over the next five minutes, and of those goals, Emily Heller recorded two of them, while Harris found the back of the cage once to put Florida up 7-0 at the 21:03 mark.
  *   Kassidy Bresnahan and Paisley Eagan each tallied their first goal of the day to put Florida ahead nine goals, while Shannon Kavanagh went back-to-back over a seven-minute span to give the Gators an 11-goal advantage.
  *   Danielle Pavinelli (2) and Kavanagh (1) combined for the next three goals to put UF up 14-0 with 3:12 left to play in the first half, while Shelton Sawers fired her first goal into the back of the cage to give Florida the 15-0 lead at the half.
  *   Out of the break, Kavanagh notched her fourth goal of the day on a man-down opportunity before Cincinnati finally broke through, tallying its first goal with 24:51 left to play.
  *   The Bearcats scored another goal just under two minutes later, but Haus notched back-to-back scores to put Florida back up 16 goals at 18-2. Cincinnati scored its final goal of the game with 10:43 left, but the Gators would tally two more behind the sticks of Lexie Morton and Jackie Norsworthy.

Insight from O’Leary

  *   “We came out of the locker room fired up. Obviously with it being our first game at home, you never know if those first-game jitters or nerves of playing at home will be there, but the team crushed it today. They came out and competed from the very first whistle.”

Notables

  *   Moriarty recorded a career-high two caused turnovers in the game.
  *   Florida moves to 8-0 against Cincinnati in the all-time series
  *   UF is now 5-0 against the Bearcats in Gainesville, Fla.
  *   The Gators improve to 110-5 (.957) when facing teams not ranked in the IWLCA Top-25 Poll
  *   Florida is now 97-19 (.836) in the confines of Donald R. Dizney Stadium
  *   When scoring at least 14 goals, the Gators are now 139-2 (.986) in program history
  *   Sarah Reznick notched four groundballs in the game, extending her streak to 12 consecutive games with a goal – the sixth-longest stretch in program history
  *   With her four goals today, Kavanagh extends her streak for consecutive games with a goal to 35, the second-longest streak in program history (Record – 40 games, Shayna Pirreca)
  *   Since 2011, the Gators have the third-most wins of any Division I women’s lacrosse program with 164

Up Next

  *   The Gators close out the series with Cincinnati on Sunday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium
  *   Opening draw is set for 12 p.m. and the game can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch