Report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
Cincinnati started Wednesday’s clash with two straight goals, but a Graziano success, followed by a Sydney Pirreca free-position goal evened the game at 2-2. From there, Florida took control. After the Bearcats two opening scores, the Orange and Blue used an 8-0 run for a comfortable lead before Cincy added its third of the afternoon at the 9:40 mark in the first.
UF added five more before halftime for a 13-3 margin at the break.
Unlike the high-scoring first period, the second featured just four goals from the Gators and two from the Bearcats for the eventual 17-5 final. Three of Florida’s second-half goals highlighted the afternoon as senior Carly Ross scored her first goal since the Gators’ season opener after being sidelined with a wrist injury. Freshman Alix Lopez found the back of the net for her first goal in BIG EAST play, her third career score, and senior Beth Willertz bounced in her first goal this season with 14 ticks on the clock in regulation.
Ross was Florida’s second-leading point scorer Wednesday at Sheakley Athletics Center with four points, including her goal and three assists.
Florida was 4-for-9 on free-position shots, won the draw 13-10 and picked up 25 ground balls to Cincinnati’s 17. The Orange and Blue also took 33 shots to Cincy’s 11 on the day.
No. 2 Florida: 15-1, 6-0 BIG EAST
Cincinnati: 4-11, 0-5 BIG EAST
NUMBERS OF NOTE
- 28: Gators saw action against Cincinnati
- 20: consecutive games with a point for junior Sammi Burgess, who had a hat trick to lead the Gators in goals against the Cats. Burgess has scored a goal in 14 of Florida’s 16 games this season
- 15: straight games with a goal for senior Nicole Graziano. Since March 6, Graziano has led UF in scoring with 26 goals and 33 points through the stretch. Graziano additionally has 97 career goals, three shy of the century mark
- 11: Florida players scored against Cincinnati. In addition to Burgess, Shayna Pirreca (2), Lindsey Ronbeck (2), Nicole Graziano (2) and Devon Schneider (2) all had multiple-goal outings Wednesday
- 6: games junior Sammi Burgess has had three goals or more in 2016
- 6: road wins for the Gators this season, with three coming against top-10 teams in then-No. 2 North Carolina, then-No. 2 Syracuse and then-No. 10 Stony Brook. Florida has defeated Georgetown, Villanova and Cincinnati in conference play on the road
- 5: conference titles for the Gators in the first six seasons under head coachAmanda O’Leary. Florida will compete for another title Sunday at home
- 2: straight BIG EAST Tournament appearance for the Gators, who clinched a spot in the four-team tournament with the win at Villanova last Saturday
- 1: regular-season game remaining for Florida. The Gators will honor their seniors prior to Sunday’s noon game against UConn
“Cincinnati came out ready to play and scored two goals very quickly. I thought we responded well and made good adjustments throughout the entire game in order to play the Gators’ tempo. Today was a very physical game and I thought we did some good things. We created some turnovers and once again had the opportunity to get a lot of players on the field this afternoon. Moving forward, we’re still looking to improve on the draw and really battle for those 50-50 ground balls.”