Florida Gators lacrosse wins Big East semifinal game

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida moves ahead to its fourth consecutive BIG EAST Tournament final with its 19-8 win over Marquette Thursday in semifinal action held at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Florida seeks its fourth consecutive BIG EAST Tournament crown this Saturday, facing the winner of the Georgetown-Denver game.

It was UF’s 32nd consecutive BIG EAST win, dating back to the 2015 season.

Records were made to be broken by the Gators during this game, with four Florida players tying or breaking current UF and BIG EAST Tournament records.

Lindsey Ronbeck set BIG EAST Tournament record after record during Thursday’s semifinal, tying the mark for most goals in a single half and passing the record for most goals in a game. Her five goals in the first half tied Coco Stanwick (Georgetown) from 2007. Ronbeck’s eight goals was the most by any player in BIG EAST Tournament history, surpassing the previous mark of seven by Christina (SU) in 2008. She also now sits at 19 career goals in the BIG EAST Tournament, passing Molly Ford’s mark of 18 (Georgetown).

Ronbeck’s eight games also tied Florida’s program record, matching Shannon Gilroy’s mark against High Point on Feb. 15, 2014.

Cara Trombetta added onto her single season caused turnover record, recording five in the game, pushing her to 35 this season. Those five caused turnovers tied her for first in program history for the most CTs in a single game.

Freshman Sabrina Cristodero broke the single season record for draw controls, winning 11 draw controls on the day. That puts her at 110 this season, passing Mollie Stevens’ mark of 106 from 2017.

Seven Gators recorded points en route to Thursday’s victory: Lindsey Ronbeck (8), Shayna Pirreca (6), Shannon Kavanagh (5), Sydney Pirreca (3), Kassidy Bresnahan (2), Madi Hall (1) and Alix Lopez (1).

Shayna Pirreca, Sydney Pirreca and Ronbeck each notched a hat trick in the game to secure the Gators’ 15th win this season.

Junior Haley Hicklen earned her 33rd career victory in the cage, posting three saves in 54:59 minutes of action. Hicklen has racked up 146 saves through 18 games this season, which is a Florida program record for most goals in a single season.

Senior Olivia Cole netted five minutes in goal, coming up with two saves.

Florida won 15-of-29 draw controls (.517) on the day and caused 14 turnovers. The 14 caused turnovers by the Gators defense was a BIG EAST Tournament record. The Gators held Marquette to 8-of-16 shooting and notched five saves throughout the game.

UF converted on five of its nine free position attempts to earn the decision and move on to Saturday’s championship game.

Honored Players:

Ten players in Thursday’s first semifinal were part of BIG EAST teams, announced yesterday by the league.

First Team:

Haley Hicklen, Florida, Jr., GK (BIG EAST Goalkeeper of Year)

Shannon Kavanagh, Florida, Fr., M (BIG EAST Co-Freshman of Year)

Shayna Pirreca, Florida, Sr., A (BIG EAST Co-Midfielder of Year)

Sydney Pirreca, Florida, Jr., M*

Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, Jr., A*

Cara Trombetta, Florida, So., D*

Grace Gabriel, Marquette, Jr., M (BIG EAST Co-Midfielder of Year)

Allison Lane, Marquette, Sr., M

Second Team:

Sabrina Cristodero, Florida, Fr., D

Cate Soccodato, Marquette, Jr., A

Records:

No. 6 Florida: 15-3 (9-0 BIG EAST)

Marquette: 10-8 (6-3 BIG EAST)

Notable:

* The Gators have now won 32 consecutive games against BIG EAST opponents dating back to the 2015 season, a school record.

* Florida won its eighth consecutive regular-season conference title last Saturday (2011-14 American Lacrosse Conference; 2015-18 BIG EAST champions). The Gators seek their fifth consecutive conference tournament title Saturday as Florida has won the last three BIG EAST Tournament titles and claimed the final ALC crown in 2015.

* Ronbeck’s eight goals was the most by any BIG EAST player in tournament history

* Hicklen recorded three saves against Marquette, putting her at 146 saves this season, a Florida program record. That mark passed Mikey Meagher’s 145 saves from 2013

* Cristodero notched 11 draw controls, putting her at 110 this season. That mark is a program record, passing Mollie Stevens’ record of 106 in 2017

* Trombetta’s five caused turnovers tied the most in a single game by a Florida player in program history

* #PirrecaPower: Pirreca sisters Shayna and Sydney have combined to score 33% (101/304) of UF’s goals in 2018.

* Shayna Pirreca has scored a goal in 38 consecutive games, a Florida lacrosse record. Pirreca has also tallied a point in 40 straight outings, the third best mark in program history.

Up Next:

BIG EAST Tournament final action is this Saturday at Dizney Stadium.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.