No. 2 Florida Gators lacrosse cruises past Villanova

Report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Sophomore Shayna Pirreca put up a team high five points, including a career high three assists, as the No. 2 Gators defeated the Villanova Wildcats 14-4 Saturday at Villanova Stadium to clinch one of four spots in the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament hosted by Georgetown May 5-7.Nine different Gators scored Saturday and the Orange and Blue (14-1, 5-0 BIG EAST) took a season high 42 shots en route to victory over Nova (3-12, 1-4 BIG EAST). Both Florida and UConn remain undefeated at 5-0 at the top of the league standings and have solidified spots in the conference tournament. The two squads will play April 24 in Gainesville on Senior Day.Florida had five goals and five different goal scorers in the first half for a 5-2 lead heading into the locker room at the break. Sammi BurgessCaroline FitzgeraldCarli MarshSydney Pirreca and Lindsey Ronbeck all found the back of the net in the first period. Villanova scored first and then took a 2-1 lead before UF knotted the contest and pulled ahead for good with Marsh’s success.

For the second straight game Ronbeck led UF in goals with a hat trick Saturday to total eight goals on the week, while Fitzgerald made it eight games with a Gator defender scoring a goal when she bounced one in with 1:30 on the clock in the first.

After half, the oldest Pirreca made it back-to-back Gator goals to stretch the lead, 7-2, as UF opened the final period on a 5-0 run before the Wildcats countered on a free-position goal with 16:54 on the clock to make it 10-3. Junior Alex Puller scored her third goal of the season, while sophomore Morgan Bracken netted her first of the season and third of her career at the buzzer.

Florida caused eight of Villanova’s 14 turnovers and won the draw, 11-8.

No. 2 Florida: 14-1, 5-0 BIG EAST
Villanova: 3-12, 1-4 BIG EAST


  • 30: Thirty Gators saw action in Saturday’s win at Villanova. Highlighting the day for the Orange and Blue was the return of senior Carly Ross to the field after a wrist injury had her sidelined for 11 games
  • 28: No. 28, Morgan Bracken, scored her first goal of the 2016 season at the buzzer of Saturday’s game at Villanova to give the sophomore three career goals
  • 19: consecutive games with a point for junior Sammi Burgess, who had two goals against the Wildcats. Burgess has scored a goal in 13 of Florida’s 15 games this season
  • 14: straight games with a goal for senior Nicole Graziano. Since March 6, Graziano has led UF in scoring with 24 goals and 31 points through the stretch. Graziano additionally has 95 career goals, five shy of the century mark
  • 8: games a Gators defensive player has scored a goal this season. JuniorCaroline Fitzgerald netted her third of the season with 1:30 remaining on the clock in the first half
  • 5: 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 defeated Georgetown 14-7 in their BIG EAST road opener last week
  • 2: straight BIG EAST Tournament appearance for the Gators, who clinched a spot in the four-team tournament with the win at Villanova
“Villanova had a great game plan, they came out in the first half and really slowed us down. I credit our team with continuing to work hard, making some adjustments and getting the necessary goals to win. We’re hitting the final stretch before the postseason and we need to continue to improve each and every day. The focus should be on Florida and improving everything the Gators are doing on our side of the field.”UP NEXT
The Gators have just two more games remaining on the regular-season slate with a final road game at Cincinnati April 20, before returning home for Senior Day against UConn April 24. The 2016 BIG EAST Tournament will be held May 5-7 in Washington, DC, at Georgetown’s Cooper Field.
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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, 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.