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Gators Cruise Past Flames in Midweek Matchup

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via UF press release, by Katie Callahan, photo by Chase Gyles


Florida had 10 goal scorers on the afternoon

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The ninth-ranked Florida lacrosse team cruised to the 16-7 victory over the Liberty Flames on Wednesday afternoon.

Florida has now won five-straight games, moving to 10-3 overall, while Liberty drops to 7-6 in the 2023 campaign.

Emma LoPinto led the scoring effort for Florida – the eighth time she’s done so this season – scoring five goals in the game. Her second of the day was her 100th career goal, becoming Florida’s 16th 100-goal scorer and she is now tied for the fastest Gator to achieve the mark (Kitty Cullen – 35 games).

Emily Heller and Danielle Pavinelli each registered two goals in the victory, followed by one goal apiece from seven Gators: Paisley EaganAshley GonzalezTayler WarehimeEmerson CabreraGianna MonacoAva TigheJackie Norsworthy.

Pavinelli dished out a season-high three assists in the victory, followed by one helper from Heller, Eagan, Maggi HallCatherine FlahertyTheresa Bragg and Tighe.

The Gators dominated the draw circle, coming up with 18-of-27 draws. Emily Diaz and Liz Harrison led the way with six draw controls apiece on the afternoon, followed by two from Eagan and Kaitlyn Davies.  

Florida held Liberty to 7-of-33 shooting in the game (.212) and totaled six caused turnovers.

Heller and LoPinto each tallied a team-high two groundballs, followed by one apiece from 12 Gators.

In her 37:19 between the pipes, Sarah Reznick came up with 12 saves while only allowing two goals for a .857 save percentage. That was a career-high save percentage for the redshirt junior and also tied her best for fewest goals scored.

Elyse Finnelle saw the final 22:41 in the cage, recording a career-high eight saves with a .615 save percentage.

The Gators return to The Diz on Saturday for a conference matchup against East Carolina. Opening draw is slated for 12 p.m. on ESPN+.  

No. 9 Florida (10-3, 2-1 AAC)
Liberty (7-6, 3-0 ASUN)
How It Happened

  • The Gators kicked off their scoring on a fast-break opportunity where Theresa Bragg found Emma LoPinto for the score. LoPinto then followed with her second of the day just 27 seconds later, scoring her 100th career goal on a pass from Danielle Pavinelli.
  • LoPinto earned a first quarter hat trick after finding the back of the cage with 8:04 left to play, once again on a pass from Pavinelli to put the Gators up 3-0.
  • Florida took the four-goal advantage after LoPinto converted on her free-position attempt – collecting her fourth of four goals.
  • Liberty got on the board with just 2:53 remaining in the frame to cut Florida’s lead to three at 4-1.
  • Paisley Eagan found herself in the scoring column after registering her first on the day on an unassisted score to give the Gators the 5-1 lead with 1:23 left to play in the frame.
  • With just over two minutes gone in the second quarter, Ava Tighe caused a turnover prior to the Liberty clear and collected the ball to find Pavinelli in front of the cage for Florida’s sixth goal of the day.
  • Under a minute later, Maggi Hall found Emerson Cabrera for her second goal of the season, putting the Gators up 7-1 and then Florida took the seven-goal lead after Tighe cashed in on her own free-position attempt with 10:53 left in the first half.
  • The Gators took advantage of another fast-break opportunity, with Catherine Flaherty finding LoPinto for the breakaway. That was Flaherty’s first career point and LoPinto’s fifth goal of the afternoon.
  • The Gators then scored on another fast-break, with Ashley Gonzalez scoring on an empty net on a pass from Emily Heller.
  • The Flames cut Florida’s lead to eight with 7:37 left in the half after scoring on a free-position attempt, but Emily Heller’s first goal of the day was a rocket of a shot on a woman-up opportunity to put the Gators back up nine with 2:29 to play in the frame.
  • The Gators scored another woman-up goal 1:24 seconds later, when Eagan found Pavinelli in front of the cage to give Florida the running clock.
  • Five+ minutes went by in the third before either team found of the back of the cage, but Pavinelli forced a turnover by the Liberty goalie and then found Tayler Warehime for the woman-up score to put the Gators up 11.
  • The Flames cut the lead to 10 exactly midway through the third, but Heller’s second of the game once again put Florida up 11 with 3:36 left in the third frame.  
  • Liberty went on a 3-0 run in the fourth quarter, cutting Florida’s lead to eight with 3:18 left in the game, but Gianna Monaco converted on a free-position attempt to put Florida up 15-6. The Flames got one back, but Jackie Norsworthy scored her second of the year to secure the 16-7 victory for Florida.


  • Hat Trick Counter:
  • With her five goals, Emma LoPinto became Florida’s 16th 100-goal scorer
    • She is just the fourth Florida player to hit the mark during their sophomore season and she achieved the milestone in 35 games – tying Kitty Cullen for the fastest Gator to hit 100 goals  
  • Paisley Eagan posted two points on the afternoon, moving her to 93 career points
  • Emily Heller recorded three points in the game, moving her to 90 career points
  • Florida improves to 3-0 over Liberty, including a 2-0 record in Lynchburg, Va.
  • The Gators earn their eighth nonconference win this season
  • When scoring at least 14 goals, Florida is 175-2 (.989) in program history
  • The Gators improve to 3-2 on the road in the 2023 campaign
  • Streaking: Sarah Reznick has recorded a save in 64-straight games, a new program record
  • Streaking: Danielle Pavinelli has registered a point in 38-straight games and a goal in 36-straight games (third-longest streak)
  • Streaking: Emily Heller had recorded a draw control in 36-straight games, the second-longest streak in program history  


Insight from O’Leary

  • “We saw a ton of bright spots from this team today. We still have some games left to play, but I am happy with what we saw today against a strong team like Liberty.”

Up Next

  • The Gators return to The Diz on Saturday for a conference matchup against East Carolina
  • Opening draw is slated for 12 p.m. on ESPN+
  • This will serve as Florida’s equality game

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