Ashley Bruns scores 100th career goal

After a clear by the defense, Florida passed the ball to junior Ashley Bruns.

As she received the ball, Bruns wrapped around the left side of the goal. She stopped to put all her momentum into the shot. When she released, she could see the ball sail right into the top right corner of the goal.

That shot was Ashley Brun’s 100th career goal.

“Oh my gosh, it was such a surprise. I had no idea I was even close to 100,” Bruns said laughing. “Never in a million years did I think I would come out and play for a D-I program and have 100 goals.”

It didn’t take a million years. It only took three.

Ashley Bruns and the Florida Gators (3-1, 0-0) had a record-breaking night, scoring the most goals in their program’s history with their 23-5 romping of Siena Saints (0-1, 0-0) Friday night at Dizney Stadium.

Whether it was wrapping around the left side of the post, the right side of the post, or shooting at the goal from straight on, Bruns could not be stopped. She set the individual team record for goals in a game with eight goals and set the individual team record for points in a game with 11. 

“Ashley’s that kind of player,” coach Amanda O’Leary said, “She can have a breakout game at any point in time. She is so versatile.”

Bruns and junior Kitty Cullen are the leaders of the Gator team. They are able to spark and give off energy to other players on the field. Together they totaled five out of the 10 assists the team had, while assisting each other on two separate occasions.

The chemistry between these two juniors is a legitimate energy, and it showed tonight.

“We’ve been playing together for three years now down on the attack,” Cullen said, “Even sometimes before a play we will be like ‘Hey, next time down let’s do this or next time down let’s do this.’”

Bruns’ partner-in-crime tallied five goals and two assists to add on to the Gators’ “goal-fest.” Bruns and Cullen don’t just take leadership roles on the team; they take the goal-scoring roles. Now the two lead the team in goals with 13 a piece on the season.

When the score was 15-5 at halftime, everybody from the broadcasters to the fans had an idea the Gators might break their record for goals in a game.

Everybody, except the team.

“Oh no, I didn’t,” Cullen said laughing.

As Bruns, Cullen and O’Leary reiterated, they had no idea they broke the record, but are definitely pleased with the results.

An impressive side note involved the Gators’ second-half goalie Cara Canington.

The Gators allowed five goals in the first half. By the end of the game, there were still only five goals on the scoreboard for the Saints.

For the first time in her career, she allowed zero goals. She had three saves, and to cap off the night, she grabbed her first win of the season.

The Gators this season have struggled with goaltending.  The Gators’ goalies have combined to allow in more goals [22] than they have saved [21]. This type of defensive stand was exactly what this team needed.

The Gators will have to continue where they left off on Friday night when Detroit (0-0, 0-0) comes to town for their first game on Sunday. The game will be at 1 p.m. at Dizney Stadium.

Cullen and Bruns will look to bring their tenacity back to the field to dominate another game.

Follow Gator Country repoter Max Mattern for updates on the Florida Women’s Basketball and Lacrosse team @MaxMattern.