Florida Gators lacrosse wins Big East tournament title

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The University of Florida women’s lacrosse team (17-2) claimed its fifth conference tournament title overall, its fourth conference title in a row, and third BIG EAST Tournament title in a row on Saturday. The Gators beat third-seeded Denver (14-4), by a score of 18-12.

The Gators scored 39 goals over the span of two tournament games, breaking their own record from 2015 for most goals scored in a BIG EAST Tournament.

Tournament Most Outstanding Player Mollie Stevens stuffed the stat sheet against the Pioneers, scoring five goals, two assists, six draw controls, two caused turnovers, and two ground balls. Stevens scored 10 goals in Florida’s two tournament games, tying the BIG EAST Tournament record for most goals scored in a single tournament.

Florida was able to control the pace of the game by winning a 20-12 edge in the draw circle. Mollie Stevens became the 12th player in the nation to record at least 100 draw controls this season.

Sophomore attacker Lindsey Ronbeck recorded a double hat trick with three goals and three assists, to go along with three draw controls. Midfielder Sydney Pirreca chipped in five points (three goals, two assists) and three draw controls in Florida’s win.

The Gator defense was anchored by a strong performance from freshman defender Cara Trombetta, who caused a career-high three turnovers. Florida limited Denver to shoot just 38% in the game. Sophomore goalkeeper Haley Hicklen turned in 12 saves and a .500 save percentage against the Pioneers, marking her fifth game this season with at least 10 saves and a .500 save percentage.

#FLax on the All-Tournament Team

BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player

Mollie Stevens, Florida, A

BIG EAST All-Tournament Team

Haley Hicklen, Florida, GK

Sammi Burgess, Florida, A

Caroline Fitzgerald, Florida, D

Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, A

Mollie Stevens, Florida, A

Caitlin Derry, Denver, A

Julia Feiss, Denver, A

Emily Conway, Denver, M

Brenda McDermott, Temple A

Morgan Glassford, Temple, M

Taylor Gebhardt, Georgetown, A

Francesca Whitehurst, Georgetown, M

Notable:

*        The Gators have won 22 consecutive BIG EAST games dating back to the 2015 season

*        #PirrecaPower: Pirreca sisters Shayna and Sydney have combined to score 26% (83/324) of Florida’s goals in 2017

*        Shayna Pirreca is just six goals away from becoming the ninth Gator to score 100 career goals

*        Haley Hicklen is eight saves away from tying Mikey Meagher (145) for the most saves in a single-season in UF history

O’Leary’s Insight:

“Today was a battle. I couldn’t be more proud of how this team came out from the opening draw and never let up. All the credit to Denver for being prepared and giving us a great game. Now we look forward to NCAA play.”

Up Next

The Gators have eared an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and will await the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Sunday, May 7 to find out where they have been seeded.

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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.