#8 Gators Dominate Bearcats
Florida holds Cincinnati to five goals on the afternoon
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 8 Florida lacrosse team earned its first conference win of the 2023 campaign after topping the Cincinnati Bearcats 20-5 on Saturday afternoon at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
The Gators improve to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in AAC play, while Cincinnati falls to 8-4 and 1-1 in the league.
Florida’s offensive output was led by a four-goal effort from Emily Heller, while Danielle Pavinelli added three in the victory. Maggi Hall, Emma LoPinto and Tayler Warehime each registered a two-goal performance.
Florida held Cincinnati to a .333 shooting percentage (5-of-15), below the Bearcats’ season average of .440. As a team, the Gators posted 10 caused turnovers in the game, led by two from LoPinto and Eagan.
Five Gators each tallied a team-high two groundballs in the game: Heller, LoPinto, Hall, Celeste Forte and Gonzalez.
The Gators are back in action on April 1 against No. 24 Penn. Opening draw is slated for 12 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
No. 8 Florida (7-3, 1-1 AAC)
Cincinnati (8-4, 1-1 AAC)
How It Happened
- The first quarter belonged almost completely to the Gators, with Florida outscoring Cincinnati 11-1 in the frame.
- Florida started with three-straight goals within the first 3+ minutes of the game, coming from the sticks of Emily Heller, Maggi Hall and Danielle Pavinelli, respectively.
- Cincinnati got its lone goal of the quarter with 10:09 left to play, but the Gators closed with eight-straight goals to force running clock.
- Pavinelli kicked off the run with her second goal of the day, then Heller posted back-to-back scores for a first quarter hat trick to put Florida up 6-1.
- Josie Hahn found the back of the cage for the third time this season, followed by Ashley Gonzalez’s first of the day on a pass from Emma LoPinto.
- Paisley Eagan converted on her free-position attempt to put Florida up 9-1, then Madison Waters scored her first goal of the game on fast break to give the Gators the nine-goal advantage.
- Florida’s final goal of the first quarter came with 12 seconds remaining, when Hall found Tayler Warehime for the score.
- Offense slowed on both sides in the second quarter, but LoPinto scored on a wraparound shot to give the Gators the insurance goal with 8:50 left to play in the half.
- Cincinnati cut Florida’s lead back to 10 with 3:19 left in the quarter, but that was it for either side, with the Gators taking the 12-2 lead into the locker room.
- The first goal of the second half belonged to the Bearcats, but then Florida answered with three-straight goals to take the 15-3 lead.
- The first of the three goals was an unassisted Hall score, followed by LoPinto’s second of the game. The final goal of the stretch came from the stick of Heller – tying her career-best mark at four.
- Cincinnati got one back to cut the lead to 11 at 15-4, but LoPinto found Pavinelli in front of the cage in the final minute of the third quarter to put Florida up 16-4 heading into the final 15 minutes.
- Florida kicked off the fourth frame with four goals, coming from the sticks of Gianna Monaco, Janine Suris, Tayler Warehime and Jenny Woodings. Cincinnati tacked on one final goal with 40 seconds remaining, but the Gators secured the 20-5 win to move to 1-1 in AAC play.
- 2023 Hat Trick Counter:
- The last time the Gators scored 20 goals or more was against Furman on Feb. 28
- Paisley Eagan moved closer to 100 career points after her one-point performance on Saturday, as she now sits at 89
- The Gators remain undefeated in the series, moving to 12-0 against Cincinnati
- Florida is 8-0 against the Bearcats in Gainesville, Fla.
- Florida owns an impressive 122-22 (.847) record in the confines of Donald R. Dizney Stadium, including a 6-1 record this season
- When scoring at least 14 goals, the Gators are 173-2 (.989) in program history
- The Gators have won their home conference opener in each season (excluding 2020 when no conference games were played)
- Streaking: Sarah Reznick has recorded a save in 61-straight games, a new program record
- Streaking: Danielle Pavinelli has registered a point in 35-straight games and a goal in 33-straight games (third-longest streak)
- Streaking: Emily Heller had recorded a draw control in 33-straight games, the third-longest streak in program history. She is just one game away from tying the second-longest streak
- 12 Gators recorded or tied career-highs in the game:
- Brie Catts:
- Tied career-high in caused turnovers (1)
- Kaitlyn Davies
- Tied career-high in draw controls (1) and caused turnovers (1)
- Emily Heller
- Tied career-high in goals (4)
- Emma LoPinto
- Tied career-high in caused turnovers (2)
- Celeste Forte
- Career-high in groundballs (2)
- Ashley Gonzalez
- Tied career-high in groundballs (2)
- Gianna Monaco
- Tied career-high in goals (1) and shots (2)
- Jenny Woodings
- Tied career-high in goals (1) and shots (1)
- Carly Wilson
- Tied career-high in draw controls (1)
- Ava Tighe
- Career-high in assists (1)
- Emily Lortz
- Tied career-high in groundballs (1)
- Bella Palagonia
- Tied career-high in assists (1) and points (1)
Insight from O’Leary
- “We got off to a quick start in the first quarter, which was great to see. We saw some really good things offensively and were exceptionally strong on defense today. Overall, it was a great team win.”
- The Gators are back in action on April 1 against No. 24 Penn
- Opening draw is slated for 12 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium
- Fans can also watch the game on ESPN+