Florida Gators lacrosse defeats UConn on the road

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:

STORRS, Conn. – The No. 18 Florida Gators pushed their winning streak to seven-straight games on Saturday, downing the UConn Huskies 16-5.

This win moved Florida to 4-0 in conference play, keeping the squad tied with Cincinnati at the top of the field with one game left to play. The Gators face the Bearcats next Saturday to crown the regular season champion.

Shannon Kavanagh led the offensive attack for the Gators, scoring five goals on the afternoon. That mark tied her career-best and she also posted a career-best in points, finishing the day with eight.

Madi HallHannah Mardiney and Lindsey Ronbeck each pitched in two goals as well.

Florida won 19-of-23 draw controls on the day, including a career-best 13 by Shannon Kavanagh

As a squad, the Gators caused 12 turnovers, led by two apiece from Kaitlyn DabkowskiCara Trombetta and Kavanagh

The Florida defense also held UConn to 5-of-18 shooting (.217).

Haley Hicklen notched five saves against the Huskies, finishing the day with a .500 saves percentage.

How it Happened
UConn got on the board first after a free-position conversion, but the Gators answered back within 30 seconds after Shannon Kavanagh split the defense on a one-on-one drive.

Kavanagh scored her second goal of the day at the 25:25 mark, collecting the ricochet off a free-position attempt and find the back of the net. Just 11 seconds later, Lindsey Ronbeck scored on a free-position attempt, putting Florida ahead 3-1 at the 25:14 mark.

Shortly after, Kavanagh found a streaking Ronbeck on a fast-break, giving the Gators a 4-1 lead with just over 17 minutes remaining in the half. The Huskies answered to bring the game to within two goals at 13:38, but back-to-back goals by Madi Hall and Kassidy Bresnahan pushed Florida’s lead to 6-2.

The Gators extended their lead to five goals after Paige Aldave found Kavanagh for her third goal of the game – moving her to 11 hat tricks for the season. Just under four minutes later, Brianna Harris found Kavanagh, who scored her fourth goal on a ridiculous behind-the-back goal.

UConn cut Florida’s lead to four at the 4:11 mark in the first half, but Hall and Sydney Pirreca scored within 30 seconds of one another to give Florida a six-goal lead going into the half.

The Gators were held scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half, but Harris broke through to put Florida up 11-5 with 25 minutes remaining in the game.

On a fast break attempt, Kavanagh found a speeding Hannah Mardineywho muscled one into the back of the net for her seventh goal of the season.

Kavanagh found a fast break opportunity of her own, scoring her fifth goal of the game on a man-down opportunity to put Florida up 13-5. Five goals ties her career-best mark, one that she has already hit four times this season.

Caroline Benitez scored her 10th goal of the season on a pass from Kavanagh, putting the Gators up 14-5.

Mardiney followed with her second goal of the day, this time on a pass from Grace Haus, giving Florida the running clock with nine minutes remaining in the game. The Gators got their final goal of the day from Maggie Corbo, her first the season.

Records
No. 18 Florida (10-6, 4-0 AAC)
UConn (2-14, 0-4 AAC)

O’Leary’s Insight

  • “This was a total team effort today – I was really proud of the team on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field. Our presence in the draw circle really made a difference this afternoon, it allowed us to control the pace.”

Notables

  • Shannon Kavanagh recorded her 11th hat trick of the season and tied her career-best with five goals
    • She recorded a career-best eight points on the day as well
  • Kavanagh also won 13 draw controls – a career-best mark for her
    • That is also the second-best total in program history for a single game
  • The Gators move to 4-0 in conference by for the seventh time in program history
  • Sydney Pirreca scored one point against the Huskies, moving her to 184 for her career
    • She is on pace to become just the seventh Gator to reach the 200 point milestone
  • Lindsey Ronbeck scored two goals against UConn and is currently at 221 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 287 points, in range to become just the third Gator to hit the 300 point mark
  • Shannon Kavanagh posted five goals today, bringing her to 95 for her career
    • 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 their second year
  • Cara Trombetta recorded two caused turnovers on the day, moving her to 98 for her career
    • She holds Florida’s program record in the category already
  • Grace Haus scored one point today, moving her to 87 for her career
    • She is 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 42-straight games, the second-best mark in program history.
  • Streaking: Lindsey Ronbeck has also scored at least one goal in 27-straight games, the third-best mark in program history
  • Streaking: Shannon Kavanagh is now tied with Sabrina Cristodero for Florida’s streak for consecutive games with a draw control, recording one in 29-straight games.

Up Next

  • The Gators finish their regular season with a battle for the top spot in the league against Cincinnati on April 27
  • The game will begin at 12 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium and serves as Senior Day for Florida’s 11 seniors
  • Currently, Florida is 4-0 in the league and Cincinnati is 3-0 (the Bearcats face Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon)
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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.