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11th Ranked Gators Improve to 2-0 in Conference Play in Victory Over Vanderbilt

Danielle Pavinelli scored a season high five goals, along with a season high six points from Ashley Gonzalez

via UF press release/website, by Corey Lichtman


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 11th ranked Florida lacrosse team improved to 2-0 in AAC play, defeating Vanderbilt by a score of 20-5 on Saturday afternoon. The Gators improve to 11-2 on the season, while Vanderbilt drops to 6-4 and 0-2 in AAC play.

For the first time this season, Florida did not score first and found themselves trailing 3-2 in the first quarter. UF then used a 12-1 run before half, and outshot the Commodores 11-0 on goal in the second quarter to create separation.

The Gators were led by Danielle Pavinelli, who scored a season high five goals along with passing out two assists. Ashley Gonzalez had her third hat-trick of the season, connecting on three goals and three assists for a season high six points in the win. Nine other players scored, including a hat-trick from Madison Waters, and two goals from Cate IsaacsonEmily HellerHannah HellerMaggi HallJosie HahnGabbi KouryAva Tighe and Paisley connected on scores as well.

The ball stayed moving as Florida had 11 assists, their eighth straight game in double digits . Gonzalez and Hall had three each, along with two from Pavinelli and one each from Isaacson, Koury, and Falk.

It was another dominating performance for Liz Harrison and the draw team, as Harrison won 14 draw controls and Florida won the draw battle 21-6. This led to UF generating a lot of opportunities, as they out shot Vanderbilt 41-18.

Georgia Hoey moved to 11-0 on the year, along with seven saves from Elyse Finnelle. Florida caused six Commodore turnovers and held them to 5/18 shooting for the game and 1/12 after the first quarter.

How It Happened

  • At the 12:02 mark, Vanderbilt got things going on a Kemper Robinson goal to give the Commodores a 1-0 lead.
  • 33 seconds later Gonzalez drew a foul and converted on the eight-meter opportunity for her 16th goal of the season to even the score at one.
  • At the 10:55 mark, Koury maneuvered her way through the defense to give the Gators their first lead of the day.
  • Vanderbilt answered with two goals of their own, to put them in front 3-2 with 8:55 left.
  • Florida responded, as Waters won a loose ground ball, and found Gonzalez who set up Hall for the finish in front of the net to make it 3-3.
  • Off a ground ball, Gonzalez found Hannah Heller leaking out on the break, where she zoomed in for the breakaway goal and her first as a Gator, putting UF back in front with 5:58 remaining.
  • Two minutes and 10 seconds later, Hall delivered a dime to a cutting Eagan for the score, giving Florida a two-goal advantage.
  • Following another goal from Robinson, Pavinelli ended the quarter in style, dodging right and spinning back left for the impressive finish with eight seconds left, giving Florida a 6-4 lead after one. It was a quarter that featured four lead changes, and three ties.

Second Quarter

  • 20 seconds into the second, Waters drew shooting space, and put away a free position opportunity making it 7-4 Gators.
  • At the 13:38 mark, Pavinelli dodged in from the right side, burying it into the back of the net, extending the lead to four.
  • Off an intercepted pass from Theresa Bragg at the 12:06 mark, it only took the Gators 15 seconds to race up the field and score, as Davies led the clear, eventually transitioning to Hall finding Pavinelli for her third goal of the day, giving Florida a 9-4 lead.
  • Florida went on to score five straight goals from five different scorers in the final 10:52 of the half, as Gonzalez, Pavinelli, Hahn, Waters and Emily Heller all found pay dirt, concluding a 7-0 second quarter, giving the Gators a 14-4 halftime lead.

Third Quarter

  • The Commodores struck first a little under two minutes into the quarter, but Florida responded with four consecutive goals, as Waters, Isaacson, Pavinelli, and Gonzalez each had a score, giving UF an 18-5 lead after three.
  • Florida outscored Vanderbilt 4-1 in the quarter.

Fourth Quarter

  • Just over a minute into the fourth, a deflected pass from Hall found its way to Isaacson for the crafty behind the back finish, to make it 19-5.0
  • Tighe sealed the deal, scoring with 19 seconds left to give the Gators a 20-5 victory.

Coach O’Leary’s Insight
“It was another solid conference win. Vanderbilt came out and put us on our heels, but we responded very well. I am proud of this team’s fight and resilience.”

Key Notes

  • This is Florida’s 16th straight win over Vanderbilt, and they improve to 6-0 on the road against them
  • This is the Gators fifth consecutive win by at least 13 goals
  • Florida has had 10 or more assists in eight consecutive games
  • 10 or more different Gators have scored in five consecutive games, and it’s the eighth game this season where they’ve scored 20 or more goals
  • Hannah Heller scored her first goal in a Florida uniform

Season/Career Highs

Active Streaks (eight games or better)

Next up
No. 11 Florida plays again next Saturday on the road against East Carolina at 12 p.m. on ESPN+.

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