Florida Gators lacrosse defeats East Carolina at home

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 KavanaghBrianna HarrisMadi 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 HarrisLindsey 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 KittellThe 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.

Records
No. 17 Florida (9-6, 3-0 AAC)
East Carolina (5-10, 0-3 AAC)

O’Leary’s Insight
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.”

Notables

  • 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

Up Next

  • 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
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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.