UF Lacrosse: Gators Topple Cardinals in Season Opener

Courtesy of University Athletic Association


The eighth-ranked squad was led by a balanced offensive attack

The No. 8 Florida lacrosse team kicked off the 2021 season on a high note after a 14-7 victory over Louisville at UofL Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Gators registered an extremely balanced offensive attack, with five players recording at least two goals on the afternoon. Seniors Kassidy Bresnahan and Shannon Kavanagh led the way, each recording a hat trick.

Grace Haus, Paisley Eagan, and Maggi Hall each tallied two goals of their own in the win as well, with Eagan and Hall each recording their first Gator goals in the game.

Danielle Pavinelli and Shelton Sawers rounded out the scoring column for Florida, with Pavinelli registering her first collegiate goal.

Haus also posted a team-high two assists, while Kavanagh, Bresnahan, Pavinelli, Brianna Harris, and Ashley Gonzalez each recorded one assist apiece.

Florida won the battle in the draw circle, coming up with 13-of-23 draws in the game. Kavanagh posted six draw control wins, while Harris tallied five.

As a squad, the Gators recorded eight caused turnovers, led by two apiece from Cara Trombetta and Kaitlyn Dabkowski.

Trombetta also led the way in groundballs for Florida, recording a team-high four. Dabkowski added three of her own in the win, while four Gators collected two: Eagan, Pavinelli, Hall, and Sawers.

Redshirt sophomore Sarah Reznick recorded 11 saves in the season opener, notching a .611 save percentage in the win.

The Gators return to action Friday, Feb. 19, against No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Opening draw is slated for 1 p.m.

No 8 Florida (1-0)
Louisville (0-1)

How It Happened

  *   The Cardinals got on the board first, scoring with 27:42 left in the first half, but Grace Haus recorded the unassisted equalizer just under four minutes later.
  *   Louisville took the 2-1 advantage with 22:13 remaining in the first frame, but Paisley Eagan registered her first goal as a Gator to knot it all up at two.
  *   The Gators continued to roll, going up 4-2 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half after back-to-back goals from Kassidy Bresnahan and Danielle Pavinelli. The score for Pavinelli was the first of her career as a Gator.
  *   Louisville pulled to within one at 4-3, but the Gators scored three unanswered goals over the span of 90 seconds to go up 7-3. The first two goals came from the stick of Shannon Kavanagh, who hit the 200-career-point mark in doing so. The final Florida goal of the half came from Maggi Hall, the first of her career. The Cardinals got one back before the half, but the Gators took the 7-4 lead into the locker room.
  *   Florida got on the board first in the second half, with Eagan notching her second goal of the day less than two minutes into the frame.
  *   The two teams were held scoreless until 17:28 remaining in the game, when Louisville struck to cut Florida’s lead to three at 8-5.
  *   After that Louisville goal, the Gators registered three unanswered scores, coming from Shelton Sawers, Bresnahan, and Haus to put Florida up 11-5 with 14:32 remaining in the game.
  *   With 11:33 remaining in the game, Bresnahan posted her third goal of the day, good for the first Florida hat trick. Hall registered her second goal of the day after a diving score, putting the Gators up 13-5 with 9:48 left in the game.
  *   Kavanagh recorded her third goal of the day with 5:55 remaining in the game, putting Florida up 14-5. Louisville would get two goals back in the final minutes, but the Gators opened the 2021 campaign with a 14-7 win.

Insight from O’Leary

  *   “It was great to get back onto the field today. We saw some bright spots in the game, but it also showed us where we need to grow in order to continue to have success. Looking forward to building on that foundation this week.”


  *   Three Gators recorded their first goal in a Florida uniform: Paisley Eagan, Danielle Pavinelli, and Maggi Hall
  *   Shannon Kavanagh recorded four points on the afternoon, becoming just the ninth Gator to hit the 200-point career mark
  *   The Gators are now 8-4 in season openers, including four straight wins
  *   Florida is now 1-0 against Louisville in program history
  *   UF improves to 107-4 (.964) against opponents not ranked in the IWLCA Top-25 Poll
  *   The Gators are now 134-2 (.985) when scoring at least 14 goals
  *   Since 2011, Florida has the third-most wins of any Division I women’s lacrosse team with 159
  *   Kavanagh currently holds the record for most consecutive games with a draw control (43)
  *   Kavanagh’s 28 consecutive games with a goal is the fourth-longest streak in program history (Record – 40 games, Shayna Pirreca)

Up Next

  *   The Gators are back in action on Feb. 19 against the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, N.C.
  *   Opening draw is set for 1 p.m. on the ACC Network Extra