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Lacrosse hosts exhibition tonight

Written by max10101, January 26, 2012, 0 Comments,
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The Florida Gators lacrosse team is No.5 in preseason polls and will play an exhibition match against the England national team at 6:30 p.m. today at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. This will mark the first time in Florida’s short lacrosse history that they will be playing against an international squad. The honor of competing against a World Cup qualifying team like England helps the young Florida team get headed in the right direction.

Let’s rewind it back to six years ago, though. In 2006, the University of Florida announced women’s lacrosse as a sport they will participate in and the university joined the American Lacrosse Conference.

In 2007, Florida announced Amanda O’Leary as the Gators first ever head coach of the lacrosse team.

The Florida Gators lacrosse team is No.5 in preseason polls and will play an exhibition match against the England national team at 6:30 p.m. today at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. This will mark the first time in Florida’s short lacrosse history that they will be playing against an international squad. The honor of competing against a World Cup qualifying team like England helps the young Florida team get headed in the right direction.

Let’s rewind it back to six years ago, though. In 2006, the University of Florida announced women’s lacrosse as a sport they will participate in and the university joined the American Lacrosse Conference.

In 2007, Florida announced Amanda O’Leary as the Gators first ever head coach of the lacrosse team.

In 2010, the Florida Gators had their first home game against Jacksonville in which they won 16-6. The Gators ultimately finished their first season as a program with a winning record (10-8, 1-4).

Then in 2011, Florida exploded in only their second season with an impressive record (16-4, 5-0). On top of it all, they became the only expansion team school to make it into the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament in only its second year since the 16-team expansion of the tournament and they finished as ranked No. 5 in the IWLCA final poll.

So playing against a national team like England, well it seems to be right on track for the Florida Gators.

“England is our first international competition ever, so we’re very, very excited to hit the field,” O’Leary said. “I think we’re just looking to see where we are at this point in time. We’ve been practicing for about two and a half weeks, so I think it’s going to be a good gauge as to where we are offensively.”

With it only being the third year for this team, the Gators had nobody on their squad to graduate and are returning 11 starters, 17 overall, for this upcoming season. The Gators are also bringing in the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the country, four of whom were ranked in the top-25, according to Insider Lacrosse magazine.

Coming off of last season, All-American juniors Kitty Cullen, Ashley Burns, and Sam Farrell along with second team All-ALC juniors Haydon Judge and Mikey Meagher look to repeat or even improve upon their sophomore seasons. Cullen, named American Lacrosse Conference player of the year, finished her 2011 campaign with being ranked second in goals scored (77) and fifth in total points (86) in the nation along with a 24 consecutive game streak with scoring a point which she’ll be bringing into this upcoming season.

Among the 92 Division I teams, Florida finished seventh in winning percentage (.800) last year. The Gators plan on to be as successful this time around, and then some.

“We haven’t graduated anyone and we have a great group of freshmen that have come in and done a fantastic job of knowing our style and fitting into our style,” O’Leary said. “We’re going to be the same team that we saw last year, and hopefully even a little bit better.”

Florida has an outstanding home-field advantage since the first time they stepped on to the field at Donald R. Dizney Stadium recording 19 wins and only three losses in their two seasons with all three of their losses being against a No. 8 ranked opponent or better. Even though it’s an exhibition game, the English national team might have their hands full with playing the No. 5 ranked Florida Gators at home.

After the game against Florida, England will play against the U.S. national team Friday which includes Gators’ assistant coaches Erica LaGrow and Caitlyn McFadden. The two played against England in the 2009 FIL World Cup winning 20-3 which ended in the U.S. national team winning the gold medal.

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The Florida Gators lacrosse team is No.5 in preseason polls and will play an exhibition match against the England national team at 6:30 p.m. today at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. This will mark the first time in Florida’s short lacrosse history that they will be playing against an international squad. The honor of competing against a World Cup qualifying team like England helps the young Florida team get headed in the right direction.

Let’s rewind it back to six years ago, though. In 2006, the University of Florida announced women’s lacrosse as a sport they will participate in and the university joined the American Lacrosse Conference.

In 2007, Florida announced Amanda O’Leary as the Gators first ever head coach of the lacrosse team.

The Florida Gators lacrosse team is No.5 in preseason polls and will play an exhibition match against the England national team at 6:30 p.m. today at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. This will mark the first time in Florida’s short lacrosse history that they will be playing against an international squad. The honor of competing against a World Cup qualifying team like England helps the young Florida team get headed in the right direction.

Let’s rewind it back to six years ago, though. In 2006, the University of Florida announced women’s lacrosse as a sport they will participate in and the university joined the American Lacrosse Conference.

In 2007, Florida announced Amanda O’Leary as the Gators first ever head coach of the lacrosse team.

In 2010, the Florida Gators had their first home game against Jacksonville in which they won 16-6. The Gators ultimately finished their first season as a program with a winning record (10-8, 1-4).

Then in 2011, Florida exploded in only their second season with an impressive record (16-4, 5-0). On top of it all, they became the only expansion team school to make it into the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament in only its second year since the 16-team expansion of the tournament and they finished as ranked No. 5 in the IWLCA final poll.

So playing against a national team like England, well it seems to be right on track for the Florida Gators.

“England is our first international competition ever, so we’re very, very excited to hit the field,” O’Leary said. “I think we’re just looking to see where we are at this point in time. We’ve been practicing for about two and a half weeks, so I think it’s going to be a good gauge as to where we are offensively.”

With it only being the third year for this team, the Gators had nobody on their squad to graduate and are returning 11 starters, 17 overall, for this upcoming season. The Gators are also bringing in the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the country, four of whom were ranked in the top-25, according to Insider Lacrosse magazine.

Coming off of last season, All-American juniors Kitty Cullen, Ashley Burns, and Sam Farrell along with second team All-ALC juniors Haydon Judge and Mikey Meagher look to repeat or even improve upon their sophomore seasons. Cullen, named American Lacrosse Conference player of the year, finished her 2011 campaign with being ranked second in goals scored (77) and fifth in total points (86) in the nation along with a 24 consecutive game streak with scoring a point which she’ll be bringing into this upcoming season.

Among the 92 Division I teams, Florida finished seventh in winning percentage (.800) last year. The Gators plan on to be as successful this time around, and then some.

“We haven’t graduated anyone and we have a great group of freshmen that have come in and done a fantastic job of knowing our style and fitting into our style,” O’Leary said. “We’re going to be the same team that we saw last year, and hopefully even a little bit better.”

Florida has an outstanding home-field advantage since the first time they stepped on to the field at Donald R. Dizney Stadium recording 19 wins and only three losses in their two seasons with all three of their losses being against a No. 8 ranked opponent or better. Even though it’s an exhibition game, the English national team might have their hands full with playing the No. 5 ranked Florida Gators at home.

After the game against Florida, England will play against the U.S. national team Friday which includes Gators’ assistant coaches Erica LaGrow and Caitlyn McFadden. The two played against England in the 2009 FIL World Cup winning 20-3 which ended in the U.S. national team winning the gold medal.

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