Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida women’s lacrosse team (6-1) took down its fourth ranked opponent of the season on Tuesday afternoon, beating No. 5 Syracuse (7-2), 19-12.
The No. 3 Gators led wire-to-wire, and Florida’s lead was never less than three goals after taking a 4-1 lead with 21:48 remaining in the first half.
The Gators were paced by a career-high six goals from sophomore attacker Lindsey Ronbeck on just seven shot attempts. Ronbeck also tied her career-highs with seven points and six ground balls.
Senior attacker Mollie Stevens tied the UF single-game record for most caused turnovers, with five against the Orange. Stevens added two goals, four ground balls, and six draw controls in another well-rounded game for the Gators.
Florida’s defense once again put together an outstanding effort, limiting the Syracuse offense well below its season average of 13.8 goals per game. Caroline Fitzgerald caused one turnover and scooped up four ground balls, and Aniya Flanagan caused two turnovers while collecting three ground balls and a draw control.
Sophomore goalkeeper Haley Hicklen earned her sixth win of the season while logging her third complete game in the cage for Florida. Hicklen posted 12 saves and a .500 save percentage against the Orange.
Gators on a Roll
After dropping their season opener to then-No. 1 North Carolina, the Gators have gone on a tear, winning six straight games including topping ranked opponents No. 3 Southern California, No. 5 Syracuse, No. 7 Stony Brook, and No. 16 Towson. In those six games, Florida has outscored opponents by 44 goals while averaging 17.5 goals per game.
No. 3 Florida: 6-1
No. 5 Syracuse: 7-2
* With five points against the Orange, Sammi Burgess needs just 22 points to become the fifth Gator to amass 200 career points.
* #PirrecaPower: Pirreca sisters Shayna and Sydney combined for six goals, two assists, seven ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnover against the Orange. For the season, #PirrecaPower has accounted for 36% (41/115) of Florida’s scoring.
* Caroline Fitzgerald is just 15 ground balls away from being Florida’s all-time leader.
“I think we came out of the locker room very engaged and ready to play. I am so proud of the team’s mental toughness and of their effort at both ends of the field today. It was great for us to come out and beat an outstanding Syracuse team.”
The Gators will open BIG EAST play on Saturday, March 18, with a road test at UConn (2-4).