Florida Gators lacrosse picked to win AAC conference championship

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gators’ lacrosse team was tabbed to win the American Athletic Conference championship in the 2019 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as announced on Thursday afternoon.

The league is in its inaugural season of women’s lacrosse and the order of the preseason poll is as follows: Florida (5), Vanderbilt (1), UConn, Temple, Cincinnati and ECU.

Florida received five of the six first-place votes and led the conference with seven preseason All-AAC players, including six unanimous selections. No other school had more than three All-AAC nods in the poll.

In addition to the seven All-Conference team selections, the Gators swept the Preseason Player of the Year awards.

Lindsey Ronbeck was named Preseason Attacker of the Year, Cara Trombetta was tabbed as Preseason Defender of the Year, Sydney Pirreca earned Preseason Midfielder of the Year honors and Haley Hicklen was named Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.

Hicklen, Pirreca, Ronbeck and Trombetta were joined on the Preseason All-AAC team by Sabrina Cristodero, Grace Haus and Shannon Kavanagh.

Haus (A), Hicklen (GK), Kavanagh (M), Pirreca (M), Ronbeck (A) and Trombetta (D) were all unanimous selections.

The Gators are coming off a season in 2018 where they went undefeated in BIG EAST play, outscoring opponents by 94 goals in the nine games. The squad won its fourth consecutive BIG EAST regular season championship and tournament championship during the season as well.

UF made its first NCAA quarterfinal since 2014, finishing the season 17-4. With the team entering the 10th season, Florida holds an overall record of 148-36 (.804) – all under head coach Amanda O’Leary.

Florida, picked No. 4 in the USLacrosse Preseason rankings<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.uslaxmagazine.com_college_women_bc-2Dranked-2Dno-2D1-2Din-2Dnike-2Dus-2Dlacrosse-2Ddivision-2Di-2Dwomen-25E2-2580-2599s-2Dpreseason-2Dtop-2D20&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=ow40HVDg9MgHMjQiFstwBg32s8ewUqX2K5617NY3j0Y&s=R1AVCRivihdoMtPLtjo6Sy-aoCFMuLXv30-1JgFHVF0&e=>, gets the 2019 season started on the road against Colorado on Feb. 9 in Boulder, Colo.

2019 American Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll
Team (First Place Votes)           Points
1. Florida (5)                            25
2. Vanderbilt (1)                        18
3. UConn                                  17
4. Temple                                 16
5. Cincinnati                              9
6. ECU                                     5

Preseason Attacker of the Year
Lindsey Ronbeck, Sr., Florida*

Preseason Defender of the Year
Cara Trombetta, So., Florida*

Preseason Midfielder of the Year
Sydney Pirreca, Sr., Florida*

Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Haley Hicklen, Sr., Florida*

Preseason All-Conference Team
Monica Borzillo, Jr., A, Cincinnati*
Amanda Donovan, Sr., M, Cincinnati
Sam Mlkvy, R-Jr., M, Cincinnati
Caitlin Leary, Sr., A, UConn
Olivia Miles, Jr., M, UConn
Sydney Watson, So., M, UConn*
Megan Pallozzi, So., M, ECU
Sabrina Cristodero, So., D, Florida
Grace Haus, So., A, Florida*
Haley Hicklen, Sr., GK, Florida*
Shannon Kavanagh, So., M, Florida*
Sydney Pirreca, Sr., M, Florida*
Lindsey Ronbeck, Sr., A, Florida*
Cara Trombetta, Jr., D, Florida*
Maddie Gebert, Jr., M, Temple*
Amber Lambeth, Sr., M, Temple
Kara Nakrasius, Jr., D, Temple*
Melanie Becker, Sr., M, Vanderbilt
Julie Blaze, Sr., M, Vanderbilt*
Emily Mathewson, Jr., A, Vanderbilt*

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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.