Florida Gators lacrosse travels to Cincinnati

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The ninth ranked Florida lacrosse team looks to remain undefeated in conference play, as they head up north to take on the Cincinnati Bearcats. Opening draw will take place Saturday at 12 p.m. on ESPN+.

This is the 13th career meeting between the two programs, with the Gators leading the series 12-0. UF has won 10 of the 12 previous matchups by 12 goals or more, including last season when they defeated the Bearcats by a score of 20-5 in Gainesville. 12 different players scored, as Florida outscored Cincinnati 11-1 in the first quarter. Emily Heller and Danielle Pavinelli led the way, combining for seven goals and eight points.

Florida (13-2, 4-0 AAC) is currently riding a 13-game winning streak, good for the longest streak in the country. It is the sixth time in program history that they are on a winning streak of 13 games or more, with 15 games being the longest streak in school history. The Gators are coming off their third top-25 win of the season, defeating No. 14 James Madison by a score of 15-7 last Saturday. In a game that was tied 4-4 at halftime and five times overall, Florida outscored the Dukes 11-3 in the second half to pull away for the victory. Pavinelli led the way with five points, as a total of six different players accounted for multi-goal games. Elyse Finnelle stopped a career high 12 shots in the win.

Outlook on the Bearcats
The Bearcats (10-5, 2-2 AAC) are coming off a road loss to Temple last Saturday by a score of 13-9. Cincinnati started the season off 0-2 before winning their next five games, all by a double-digit margin.

Offensively, the Bearcats are led by the duo of Lauren Ottensmeyer and Camryn Callaghan, who have scored 52.6 percent (110 of 209) of the teams goals this year. Both players have totaled 55 goals this season, as they are both tied for ninth in the country and first in the AAC.  In net, the Bearcats are brought up by Victoria Macres, who ranks 13th in the country in save percentage among qualified goalkeepers, stopping shots at a .484 percent rate.

Cincinnati is coached by Gina Oliver, who is currently in her 12th season at the helm. She has led the Bearcats to two career postseason appearances, including last year when they made it to the AAC Conference Tournament.

Different Approaches, Still Getting it Done
Both teams rank in the top three in the AAC in draw controls, as the Gators rank first averaging 18.33 per game, and the Bearcats rank third, averaging 13.13 per game. While the Gators have Liz Harrison, who ranks second in the country in total draw controls, Cincinnati does not have anybody with over 50 draw controls. Dani Mlkvy leads the Bearcats in draw controls with 48, followed by Grace Jenny with 40. Hailey Joy Simpson (26) and Julie Rose (21) both also have over 20 draw controls on the season.

Three Headed Gator
Offensively, the Gators are led by the trio of Maggi Hall, Emily Heller and Danielle Pavinelli. The three seniors have a total of 97 goals, accounting for 35.3 percent of the teams 275 goals on the season. Hall and Pavinelli each have over 60 points on the year, as Hall ranks inside the top-15 nationally in assists (39) and points (72). Pavinelli has been named AAC Attacker of the Week four times this season, and has had at least three points in 11 of her last 12 games.

Defensive Energy
Both teams rank inside the top-25 in scoring defense, and team save percentage. The Gators rank eighth in scoring defense, allowing 8.27 goals per game, but have only been giving up 6.69 goals per game over this 13-game winning streak. Opponents are only shooting for a .363 shot percentage against this Gators defense, who held James Madison last weekend to a season low seven goals on a .259 shot percentage. The Bearcats are allowing just 9.40 goals per game this season, including their first shutout in program history on Feb. 18 against Robert Morris.

UF ranks fifth in the nation in team save percentage, as Finnelle leads the AAC with a .531 save percentage. She is coming off of her second AAC Goalkeeper of the Week honor, after saving 12 shots against James Madison. Finnelle now has three games this season with 10 or more saves, and has had a save percentage of .500 or better in her last eight appearances.

Key Notes

*   The Gators own a 29-1 record all-time in AAC play
*   Florida has scored first in 14 of their 15 games this season
*   UF has scored double figures in all 15 games
*   The Gators have had nine different players lead the team in goals in a game
*   In five career games against the Bearcats, Pavinelli is averaging 3.0 goals and 1.4 assists per game, including a career high nine points on April 4, 2022 against Cincinnati
Milestone Watching

*   Amanda O’Leary is five wins away from 400 career wins
*   Ashley Gonzalez is three assists away from passing Sammi Burgess for fourth all-time
*   Maggi Hall is eight assists away from passing Brianna Harris for most assists in a single season
*   Emily Heller is two draw controls away from passing Sabrina Cristodero for fifith all-time
Active Streaks (eight games or better)

*   Maggi Hall<https://floridagators.com/sports/womens-lacrosse/roster/maggi-hall/16408>: points (34)
*   Emily Heller<https://floridagators.com/sports/womens-lacrosse/roster/emily-heller/16410>: points (22), goals (16)
*   Liz Harrison: draw controls (16)
*   Paisley Eagan: points (14)
*   Danielle Pavinelli: points (14)
*   Ashley Gonzalez: points (13)
*   Sarah Falk: points (11)
Watch No. 9 Florida take on Cincinnati on ESPN+<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/8c9718b2-2b90-4bc6-81f3-cb9907a9d2c3>
Follow throughout the game for live stats<https://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=517281&vislive=fla>
For more information, click here for game notes<https://floridagators.com/documents/2024/4/17/Game_16-_Cincinnati.pdf>

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.