The Florida lacrosse team swept the Jacksonville University Dolphins in their first exhibition game of the preseason on Friday.
The Gators came out strong despite the game being unofficial. It consisted of 33-minute periods instead of two 30-minute halves.
Freshman Nora Barry gave the Gators a quick lead, scoring a goal in the first minute of the game followed by an attack through three defenders for her second goal six minutes in. Freshman Nicole Graziano scored her first goal of the preseason with 22 minutes left, followed by an assist from Hayley Katzenberger for Graziano’s second goal of the game. The Gators rounded up the first half with a score of 6-1 over the Dolphins.
UF coach Amanda O’Leary was content with the overall team effort during the game and recognized the freshmans’ hard work.
“Nora Barry and Nicole Graziano did a fantastic job on the offensive end. They ran the midfield for us, so really really pleased with their effort,” she said.
Jacksonville started with speed and high enery in the second half, scoring two goals with 18:55 left on the clock. The Gators answered when team leaders Janine Hillier and Ashley Bruns took control of the ball game mid-field. The Gators finished the game with a sweeping lead of 15-3 over the Dolphins.
The Gators lacrosse team will begin its third season as an NCAA team in 2012, striving to defend the 2011 title of ALC Regular Season Champions. The Gators showcased the strong defense, quick offense and confidence in Friday’s exhibition match that they will carry over into the spring season.
“I think this team is developing,” said O’Leary. “I’m just anxious to get out there and continue working with them.”
The Gators play their next four games at the Princeton Fall Invitational on Oct. 15 in Princeton, N.J. Their match ups include: the Princeton Tigers, 9:00-9:30 a.m.; the Syracuse Orange, 10:10 a.m.; the Penn Quakers, 11:55 a.m.; and the Albany Great Danes, 1:05 a.m.
You can follow Gator Country reporter Noelia Trujillo on Twitter at nbtrujillogc