Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
NORFOLK, Va. – The No. 9 Florida lacrosse team clinched the American Athletic Conference regular season title outright after defeating Old Dominion 17-6 on Friday afternoon at L.R. Hill Sports Complex.
Florida improves to 12-2 on the year and 9-0 in league play, while Old Dominion drops to 3-13 and 1-8 in the AAC.
The Gators had nine goal scorers in the game, led by five from Brianna Harris. Shannon Kavanagh followed with four goals of her own, while Ashley Gonzalez netted two on the afternoon.
Danielle Pavinelli, Kassidy Bresnahan, Grace Haus, Maggi Hall, Paisley Eagan and Shelton Sawers each found the back of the cage once for Florida.
Harris and Hall both dished out two assists apiece to lead the way for the Gators, while Gonzalez and Emerson Cabrera each registered a helper in the victory.
Florida won 14-of-24 draws in the game, with Eagan and Emily Heller leading the way with four draw controls apiece. Kavanagh added three, while three other Gators each registered one in the game.
Florida’s defense – which ranks fourth in the nation – showed why on Friday, holding the Monarchs to just six goals, three of which came in the final six minutes of the game. The Gators held Old Dominion to 6-of-19 shooting on the night for a .316 clip.
As a team, UF notched 12 caused turnovers, led by three from Kaitlyn Dabkowski. That mark tied her career-best, which she has hit twice before. Kavanagh added two caused turnovers of her own, while seven Gators each registered one apiece.
Dabkowski and Kavanagh each tallied a team-high four groundballs – a career-high for Dabkowski and a season-best for Kavanagh. Haus added three groundballs, while Cara Trombetta and Eagan each added two of their own.
Sarah Reznick was stellar in the cage, recording nine saves, while only allowing three goals for a .750 save percentage.
The Gators close out the series with the Monarchs on Sunday, which serves as the final conference game for both teams. Opening draw is set for 10 a.m. at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.
No. 9 Florida (12-2, 9-0 AAC)
Old Dominion (3-13, 1-8 AAC)
How it Happened
* The Gators jumped out to the early 4-0 advantage in the game, which was led off by a Grace Haus score less than 90 seconds into the game.
* Shannon Kavanagh followed with a goal of her own just 45 seconds later to put Florida up 2-0. Ashley Gonzalez netted her first of the day on a pass from Maggi Hall, while Brianna Harris found the back of the cage with 19:29 left in the first half to give Florida the advantage.
* Old Dominion got one back with just over 15 minutes to play in the frame, but Shelton Sawers responded with a free position conversion to give the Gators the 5-1 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.
* Kavanagh found the back of the cage for the second time just under a minute later and then Danielle Pavinelli tallied her first goal of the day to give Florida the commanding 7-1 lead.
* The Monarchs converted on a free position attempt of their own with just under five minutes left in the frame, but Hall and Kavanagh went back-to-back to give the Gators the seven-goal lead at the break.
* Coming out of the locker room, Harris went on a tear, scoring three-straight goals in the span of three minutes to give Florida the 12-2 lead and a running clock.
* Kavanagh followed suit with her fourth goal of the day, putting the Gators up 13-2 with just over 23 minutes left in the game.
* The Monarchs cut Florida’s lead to 10 with 19:22 remaining, but the Gators exploded for a 4-0 run to swing the momentum back their way. Kassidy Bresnahan led off the run, followed by back-to-back goals from the sticks of Harris and Paisley Eagan.
* Gonzalez capped off Florida’s run, scoring her second goal of the day with 8:39 remaining in the game. Old Dominion scored three times in the final six minutes of the game, but Florida came out with the 17-6 victory to secure the AAC regular season championship outright.
Insight from O’Leary
* “Really impressed with the effort the team put forth today. We shared the ball well on offensive, getting a lot of different goal scorers into the mix. On the defensive side of the ball, I thought we locked in really well on our assignments.”
* Kaitlyn Dabkowski registered a career-best four groundballs and tied her career-high with three caused turnovers in the game
* Harris tied her season-best with seven points in the game
* Maggi Hall tied her career-high with two assists
* Ashley Gonzalez has now recorded an assist in nine of Florida’s 14 games during her rookie campaign
* Shelton Sawers tied her career-high with one goal on the afternoon
* The Gators secured the AAC regular season championship outright
* Florida takes the 1-0 advantage against Old Dominion in the all-time series
* The Gators have now won 39-straight regular season conference games
* When scoring at least 14 goals, the Gators are 145-2 (.986) in program history
* With her five goals today, Brianna Harris inched closer to becoming the 14th Gator to score 100 career goals. She currently sits at 96
* With her first goal of the day, Shannon Kavanagh extended her streak of consecutive games with a goal to 41 – a new program record
* Since 2011, the Gators have the third-most wins of any Division I women’s lacrosse program with 170
* Streaking: Shannon Kavanagh’s 41 consecutive games with a point is the fourth-longest streak in program history
* Streaking: Sarah Reznick has tallied a groundball in 18-straight games, the third-longest streak in program history
* Streaking: Brianna Harris has recorded a point in 34-straight games, the sixth-longest streak in program history
* The Gators close out American Athletic Conference play against Old Dominion on Sunday
* Opening draw is set for 10 a.m. at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex