Florida Gators lacrosse defeats Jacksonville

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The No. 17 Gators downed Jacksonville 19-13 on the road in the final nonconference game of the season behind a historic performance from Lindsey Ronbeck.

Ronbeck paced the offense for the Gators, scoring eight goals on the night. That mark tied the single-game record for most goals scored in a game – a record she set against Maryland as well. Her seven first-half goals are the most scored in a single half in Florida program history as well.

Shannon Kavanagh and Sydney Pirreca followed with three goals and two goals, respectively.

The Gators caused six turnovers on the night, led by two from both Sabrina Cristodero and Ronbeck.

Florida also held Jacksonville to 13-of-34 shooting (.382) on the night.

Haley Hicklen posted 10 saves in the cage tonight, coming away with a .500 saves percentage in her eighth win of the season.

How it Happened
Shannon Kavanagh got the Gators on the board early, extending her scoring streak to 12 games. Jacksonville answered with the equalizer at the 24:49 mark, but Florida went on a 4-0 run to grab a 5-1 lead with 17:57remaining in the first half.

Madi Hall got the run started after slicing through the defense to find the back of the cage. She was then followed by Kavanagh’s second goal of the day, assisted by Lindsey Ronbeck.

Paige Aldave kept the Florida scoring streak hot, recording her first goal of the season on a free-position attempt. Ronbeck followed with a free-position goal of her own to put Florida up 5-1.

Jacksonville got back to within three goals at 5-2, but Brianna Harris answered to put the Gators back up by four at 6-2.

Ronbeck then went on a three-goal run of her own, putting Florida up 9-2 with 11:42remaining in the first half. Two of her goals were assisted by Kavanagh and the other assist was dished out by Sydney Pirreca.

Caroline Benitez posted her first goal of the game on an assist from Maggie Corbo with 9:51 remaining in the first half.

Over the course of the next nine minutes, Ronbeck strung together three more goals and Pirreca added an addition as well to put Florida ahead 14-2. Jacksonville got one back before the half, but the Gators took a 14-3 lead into the locker room.

The seven first-half goals for Ronbeck is a program record for the Gators. No Florida player had scored more than six goals in a half previously.

Florida was held scoreless for a portion in the second half, with Jacksonville bringing it to a 15-7 game at the 9:24 mark. Ronbeck ended that scoreless stretch with her eighth goal of the game, one that came from the Gators being two players down due to penalties. With that goal, she tied the program record for the most goals in a game, a mark she set last season.

Jacksonville scored the next two goals to pull within seven at the five minute mark, but Kavanagh picked up her 10th hat trick of the season to extend Florida’s lead back to eight with just over four minutes to go.

Maddie McMaster and Pirreca both added goals over the final two minutes to help Florida secure the victory in its final nonconference game.

No. 17 Florida (8-6, 2-0 AAC)
Jacksonville (10-3, 3-0, ASUN)

O’Leary’s Insight

–         “We got off to a great start in the first half and our offense was moving the ball well. Our second half wasn’t as strong as we would have liked. We have some things to work on before we get back into conference play on Saturday.”

*        Lindsey Ronbeck tied Florida’s all-time program record with eight goals during the game, a mark she has set twice already in her career

o   The eight goals also marked a single-game conference high as well

*        Haley Hicklen posted a career-best two caused turnovers

*        Shannon Kavanagh recorded her 10th hat trick this season and seventh in a row

*        Maggie Corbo recorded a career-best two assists against the Dolphins

*        Sydney Pirreca moved closer to 200 career points, scoring three against Jacksonville

o   That put her at 182 for her career and she is on pace to become just the seventh Gator to reach the milestone

*        Ronbeck moved closer to Florida’s all-time goals record after hitting eight against the Dolphins. She currently sits at 212 and Shannon Gilroy holds the record at 256

*        Shannon Kavanagh recorded three goals on the night, bringing her to 80 for her career

o   She 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 a sophomore season

*        The Gators finished out their nonconference schedule with a win, moving to 6-6 in those games this season

*        Florida moves to 8-0 against Jacksonville all-time

*        Streaking: Haley Hicklen has recorded a save in 40-straight games, the second-best mark in program history.

*        Streaking: Lindsey Ronbeck has also scored at least one goal in 25-straight games, the third-best mark in program history

*        Streaking: Sabrina Cristodero is now in sole possession Florida’s streak for consecutive games with a draw control, recording one in 28-straight games. Shannon Kavanagh is just one behind, recording a draw control in 27-straight games


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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.