Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
BOULDER, Colo. – The No. 6 Florida Gators started the 2019 on a high note, defeating the No. 17 Colorado Buffaloes, 16-9, at Kittredge Field.
Florida had a balanced offense attack, getting four goals apiece out of veterans Lindsey Ronbeck, Shannon Kavanagh and Grace Haus.
Preseason AAC Goalkeeper of the Year Haley Hicklen posted nine saves in the win, while Cara Trombetta led the defensive front with three caused turnovers.
Both Kavanagh and Sabrina Cristodero controlled the draw for the Gators winning six and four, respectively.
The Gators got out to an early 7-0 lead in the first half with goals by Lindsey Ronbeck (3), Alix Lopez, Grace Haus (2), Sydney Pirreca.
The Buffs then came back and cut the lead to 7-2, before Kavanagh posted her first goal of the game to put the Gators up 8-2. Colorado then scored two goals before the half, bringing the game to 8-4.
Florida came out of the half firing, with Kavanagh picking up her second goal of the game just over a minute in to the second frame, extending the Gators’ lead to 9-4. The Buffs then picked up another goal, but Madi Hall was able to bring the lead back to five with her first goal of the season.
Kavanagh once again found the back of the net, picking up her third goal of the game with 19 minutes remaining. She then tied her career-best with her fourth goal at the 16:52mark, putting the Gators ahead 12-6.
Colorado put two goals up on the board to cut the deficit to four, but it was all Gators from then on out. Haus added two more goals to her total, while Ronbeck and Brianna Harris helped put the game away for Florida with a goal apiece in the final 11 minutes.
Florida held the Buffs to a 24% (9/37) shooting clip and forced 13 Colorado turnovers.
The Gators are back in action on Thursday against No. 2 Maryland at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Opening draw is set for 7 p.m.
– No. 6 Florida: 1-0
– No. 17 Colorado: 0-1
– The Gators are now 6-4 in season openers
– Florida remains undefeated against the Buffs, moving to 3-0 all-time in the series
– Shannon Kavanagh has recorded an assist in nine straight games, putting her third all-time in program history (Sammi Burgess – 19-straight games; Kitty Cullen – 10-straight games)
– Shannon Kavanagh tied her career-high in goals, posting four during the game
– Grace Haus also tied her career-high in goals, recording four on the afternoon
– Lindsey Ronbeck recorded a hat trick within the first 12 minutes of the game – the fastest by a Gator since 4/28/18 when Grace Haus recorded three goals in the first six minutes against Butler
– Haley Hicklen recorded nine saves, bringing her within 16 of the all-time record
– “Very proud of our team’s performance from the first draw this afternoon against a talented Colorado team. We got off to a quick start at both ends of the field and that was in part to our draw performance. Shannon did a great job allowing us to get possession on the draw – Taryn VanThof has been working hard with our draw takers and it showed today.”
– “We also got great production from our attacking unit – we had some new players out there and it was exciting to see everyone come together.”
– “Defensively, we executed the early slides and played great 1v1 defense. Sabrina was excellent on the draw and on the defensive end. Nadine Hadnegy put together a very good game plan and our defensive unit stayed disciplined and did their jobs. Haley made some key saves to spark our transition game.”
– “Overall, for our first game, we have a lot to be proud of because Colorado is an outstanding team. We definitely have things to work on this week in preparation for No. 2 Maryland.”
– The Gators take on No. 2 Maryland on Thursday, Feb. 14 at The Diz
– Opening draw is set for 7 p.m.
– Join the Gators for Pet Adoption Day!
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