Florida Gators lacrosse wins Big East tournament title

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida hoisted its fourth consecutive BIG EAST Tournament trophy Saturday after an 18-6 win over Denver Saturday at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

The Gators celebrated its final BIG EAST Tournament title in front of its home crowd. Florida moves to the American Athletic Conference for the 2019 season. Florida finished BIG EAST competition with 33 consecutive league wins, dating back to the 2015 season.

Florida notched the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in junior Lindsey Ronbeck, along with four other All-Tournament Team spots: Sabrina Cristodero, Shayna Pirreca, Sydney Pirreca and Cara Trombetta.

Once again, Florida had a record day, with two Gators finding their way into the BIG EAST record books. Ronbeck scored seven goals in the game to go along with one assist, bringing her to 16 points over the course of the two games, a new conference tournament record.

Those eight points she scored in Saturday’s game brought her to 200 in her three years as a Gator – she is one of only seven Florida players to reach that mark.

Ronbeck set a new BIG EAST record for the most goals in one tournament (15), one game after breaking the league record for most goals in a single game (8 against Marquette). She also now sits at 31 career points in the BIG EAST Tournament, a new conference record.

Trombetta also found her way into the BIG EAST Tournament record books, recording six caused turnovers against Denver. That mark was the most by any individual in a single tournament game and added with her five caused turnovers from Thursday’s semifinal, puts her at 11 for the 2018 tournament and 16 for her career – both BIG EAST records.

The six CTs were also a program best for Florida, passing her mark of five. Her 67 career caused turnovers put her fourth all-time in Florida’s program history, just three away from tying Shannon Gilroy (70) for third place overall.

As a team, Florida’s defense caused 25 turnovers between the two games, which passes Syracuse’s record of 24 from the 2007 tournament.

Eight Gators scored en route to the 18-6 victory over Denver: Lindsey Ronbeck (7), Sydney Pirreca (3), Shayna Pirreca (2), Grace Haus (2), Caroline Benitez (1), Shannon Kavanagh (1), Allie Pavinelli (1) and Kassidy Bresnahan (1).

Nine UF players recorded assists on the day, led by two from Pavinelli.

Junior Haley Hicklen earned her 34th career victory in the cage, posting nine saves, with a blistering .600 save percentage in 57:30 minutes of action. Hicklen has racked up 155 saves through 19 games this season, which is a Florida program record for most saves in a single season.

Florida caused 16 turnovers in the game, the most by any team in the BIG EAST Tournament. That mark is also tied for third in Florida’s program history. The Gators held Marquette to 6-of-23 shooting and notched nine saves throughout the game.

UF converted on four of its nine free position attempts to earn the decision and earn its fourth straight BIG EAST Tournament Championship.

Next up for the Gators is the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. on ncaa.org.

Florida Results in BIG EAST Tournament Finals

2018

Florida

18

Denver

6

2017

Florida

18

Denver

12

2016

Florida

16

Temple

4

2015

Florida

20

Connecticut

6

BIG EAST All-Tournament Team:

Tournament MVP: Lindsey Ronbeck

All-Tournament Team: Lindsey Ronbeck, Shayna Pirreca, Sydney Pirreca, Cara Trombetta, Sabrina Cristodero

Past Gators on All-Tournament team

2017

2016

Haley Hicklen

Haley Hicklen

Lindsey Ronbeck

Sydney Pirreca

Records:

No. 6 Florida: 16-3 (9-0 BIG EAST)

Denver: 12-6 (6-3 BIG EAST)

Notable:

* The Gators exit the BIG EAST on a 33 consecutive game win streak. The streak began in the 2015 season and is a school record for consecutive league wins.

* In an eight-day span, Florida collected a pair of BIG EAST titles. On April 28, Florida won the BIG EAST regular-season title with a 9-0 record. Today, Florida won its fifth consecutive conference tournament title. Florida has won the last four BIG EAST Tournament titles and claimed the final American Lacrosse Conference crown in 2015.

* Lindsey Ronbeck set a new record for goals in the BIG EAST Tournament (15) and points in a career during the tournament (31)

* Ronbeck also notched eight points in the game, bringing her to 200 in her career as a Gator (7th UF player to do so)

* Trombetta set a new UF program record and BIG EAST Tournament record with six caused turnovers during the game. That brought her to 11 for the weekend and 16 over the course of her career in the tournament, both BIG EAST records

* Florida’s defense notched 25 CTs over the two games, a conference tournament record as well

* #PirrecaPower: Pirreca sisters Shayna and Sydney have combined to score 33% (106/322) of UF’s goals in 2018.

* Shayna Pirreca has scored a goal in 39 consecutive games, a Florida lacrosse record. Pirreca has also tallied a point in 41 straight outings, the third best mark in program history.

O’Leary’s Insight
On setting the tone:
“The start was huge for us. When we looked at our game the first time out with them, we got out to a really hot start, but Denver came back and evened the score. It was really important for us to maintain that momentum and it was great to see. We didn’t take the foot off the pedal and I’m really proud of them.”
On defense:
“Our defense was just stellar today, I cannot say more. Nadine has done an amazing job with them and they have just gotten better and better each game. You saw it from every single one of them, they all did their jobs today.”
On 33-straight wins in the BIG EAST:
“It is a great accomplish, you have to credit our players both past and present. They work every day for this and I am honored to be able to coach these student-athletes.”

Gators Graduating:

* Three Gators on the team are graduating this weekend

* Shayna Pirreca’s ceremony was Saturday – she earns her bachelor’s degree in history

* Allie Pavinelli and Katharine Hamer will both graduate tomorrow; Pavinelli earns her degree in Health Education and Behavior, while Hamer will earn her degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment

Florida Achieving BIG EAST Tournament Records:

Name

Record

#

Date

Previous/Equaled Record

Name

Lindsey Ronbeck

Goals in a game

8

Semifinal vs Marquette

7

Christina Dove (SU) 2008 Semi

Lindsey Ronbeck

Goals in a half

5 (first)

Semifinal vs Marquette

5 (first)

Coco Stanwick (GU) 2007

Lindsey Ronbeck

Career goals in BE Tournament

19

18

Molly Ford (GU) 2007-10

Cara Trombetta

Caused Turnovers

6

Final vs. Denver

5

Liz Hogan (SU) 2010

Cara Trombetta

Cara Trombetta

Florida

Florida

Caused Turnovers in BE Tournament

Caused Turnovers in BE Tournament Career

Groundballs

Caused Turnovers

11

16

31

25

Final vs. Denver

Final vs. Denver

Semifinal vs Marquette
Final vs. Denver

8

8

25

24

Shannon Burke (ND), 2009

Shannon Burke (ND), 2009

Syracuse 5/4/13

Syracuse 2007

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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.