Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 17th-ranked Gators defeated East Carolina 20-10 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
Lindsey Ronbeck led the Gators on the offensive front, scoring seven goals against the Pirates – her 12th hat trick this season. Grace Haus also pitched in a hat trick with three goals, while Shannon Kavanagh, Brianna Harris, Madi Hall and Caroline Benitez all followed with two of their own.
Florida won 20-of-32 draw controls on the afternoon, including a career-high five by Cara Trombetta.
The Gators were locked in on defense, causing 11 turnovers on the day, led by six from Trombetta. That not only tied her career-best, but tied Florida’s program record for most CTs in a game.
Haley Hicklen notched a .400 saves percentage on the day, racking up six saves against the Pirates.
How it Happened
The Gators got the board just over a minute into the game, with Caroline Benitez scoring her eighth goal of the year on a pass from Brianna Harris. Lindsey Ronbeck then added her first free-position goal of the day less than two minutes later to put Florida ahead 2-0.
ECU cut into Florida’s lead by one, scoring at the 24:52, but Florida answered with a 6-0 run to take the 8-1 lead with 19:44 left in the first. Shannon Kavanagh kicked off the run, followed by Ronbeck’s second goal of the day at the 21:52 mark.
Benitez continued the run with her second goal of the day, this time on a pass from Madisyn Kittell. The Gators were able to take the 7-1 lead on back-to-back goals by Grace Haus and the rally was capped by Harris’s first goal of the day to put Florida 8-1.
The Pirates then went on a 4-0 run of their own to cut Florida’s lead to just three at 15:44, but three free-position goals over the course of the next six minutes (two from Ronbeck, one from Haus) would once again give the Gators a six-goal lead.
ECU answered with two goals in just over a minute, but Sydney Pirreca and Harris equalized those two and Florida went into the locker room with a 13-8 lead.
The Gators opened up the second half on a 5-0 run to push the game to a running clock. During that run, Ronbeck strung together three goals, while Hall and Kavanagh each pitched in one apiece for the 18-8 lead.
ECU got the game back within nine goals at the 12:59 mark, but goals from Hall and Madisyn Kittell secured the victory for Florida and moved the Gators to 3-0 in conference play.
No. 17 Florida (9-6, 3-0 AAC)
East Carolina (5-10, 0-3 AAC)
On if Thursday’s win brought momentum into today’s game
- “We played a really good first half on Thursday, not so much a second half. Today was building upon if we could put two halves together. Credit ECU in the first half, they came out with the 50/50 groundballs and they came at us hard offensively. We put together a much better second half today.”
- The Gators are now 3-0 in conference play for the seventh time in program history
- Cara Trombetta recorded two career-best marks today
- She recorded five draw controls – a personal-best mark
- The junior also recorded six caused turnovers which not only ties her career-best, but the program-best mark
- Sydney Pirreca sits at 183 career points and is on pace to become just the seventh Gator to reach the 200 point milestone
- Lindsey Ronbeck is currently at 219 goals, second in Florida’s all-time program history
- Shannon Gilroy is Florida’s leading scorer with 256 goals in her career
- Ronbeck is also at 282 points, in range to become just the third Gator to hit the 300 point mark
- Shannon Kavanagh 90 is on pace for 100 goals this season, becoming just the 12th Florida player to hit that mark
- If she records 100 goals this year, she will be just the second Gator to hit the milestone by the end of their second year
- Grace Haus sits at 86 points in her career, looking to hit the 100 point mark this season
- She would be just the 17th Gator to hit the milestone and seventh to do so in their first two years
- Streaking: Haley Hicklen has recorded a save in 41-straight games, the second-best mark in program history.
- Streaking: Lindsey Ronbeck has also scored at least one goal in 26-straight games, the third-best mark in program history
- Streaking: Sabrina Cristodero holds sole possession of Florida’s streak for consecutive games with a draw control, recording one in 29-straight games. Shannon Kavanagh is just one behind, recording a draw control in 28-straight games
- The Gators have a week off before returning to the field to face UConn on April 20
- Opening draw is set for 12 p.m. at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex