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Gators Fall in Season Opener to Loyola

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in , , , .

Gators drop first season opener since 2017

via UF press release, by Corey Lichtman


BALTIMORE, Md. – The 10th ranked Florida lacrosse team fell to No. 8 Loyola by a score of 18-10 on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.  The Gators fall in their season opener for the first time since 2017.

Florida was led by senior Maggi Hall, who had five goals which ties for the second most in a season opener in school history. Emily Heller put in two goals, along with Sarah FalkAva Tighe and Gianna Monaco recording one a piece. Loyola’s Georgia Latch totaled nine points on the afternoon including six goals and three assists.

The Gators held a lead for just over 20 minutes of the first half, controlling leads of 2-0, 4-2, 5-3, and 8-7 throughout the half. With the score being tied 8-8 at half, the main difference of the game was in the third quarter where Florida was out-shot 10-3 and outscored 8-2 in the frame. UF had just two assists, compared to Loyola’s eight. There was a total of 19 penalties in this top-10 match, with 12 of them being committed by the Gators.

How It Happened

  • Emily Heller got things going, scoring a free position goal just under two minutes into the game to put Florida up 1-0.
  • A minute and 10 seconds later, Hall put in another free position goal, as the Gators took a 2-0 lead.
  • The Greyhounds would answer, scoring two goals in a 28 second span to even the score at two.
  • Florida would answer, as Hall found the back of the net on an assist from Gabbi Koury at the 9:45 mark in the first.
  • Four and a half minutes later, Hall converted on a free position shot for her 17th career hat-trick to give her team a 4-2 advantage.
  • A goal from Catie Corolla with just a minute left in the first quarter, cut the Gators lead to 4-3 heading into the second.

Second Quarter

  • Sarah Falk scored her first career goal as a Gator on a free position shot to put Florida up 5-3 with 12 minutes left in the quarter.
  • Sydni Black responded with back-to-back goals, one on a free position shot, and the other on a backhand to even the score at five.
  • With 7:09 left in the quarter, Hall bounced one into the back of the cage assisted by Madison Water to put the Gators back in front.
  • Goals from Black and Corolla gave Loyola their first lead of the day at 7-6.
  • That lead lasted just 59 seconds, as Heller converted on a free position shot for her second goal of the game.
  • 35 seconds later, Ava Tighe scored her first goal of the season to put the Gators back in front.
  • A Greyhounds goal with 3:11 left tied the game at eight as the teams went into halftime tied up.

Third Quarter

  • 31 seconds into the third quarter, Latch sent a rocket past Elyse Finelle to put Loyola back in front.
  • Just under a minute later, Loyola tacked on another score to make it a two-goal game. Georgia Hoey would come in to replace Finelle.
  • Nearly three minutes later Loyola scored another one, making it an 11-8 game with 10:54 left in the frame.
  • 52 seconds later, Hall scored her fifth goal of the game to cut the Florida deficit to just two. The Gators then thought they had cut the Loyola lead to one with 7:56 remaining, but Paisley Eagan’s goal was called off due to being in the crease.
  • Loyola then captalized, scoring with 6:31 left to make it a 12-9 game.
  • The two teams then exchanged player advantage goals, as Gianna Monaco scored her first goal of the season to make it a 13-10 affair.
  • The Greyhounds then scored three consecutive goals in the final three minutes of the quarter to make it 16-10 heading into the fourth.

Fourth Quarter

  • Loyola found the back of the cage 36 seconds into the fourth quarter, giving them a 17-10 advantage.
  • Loyola added on one more goal to make it 18-10 with 6:30 remaining in the game.
  • The fourth quarter featured a total of five cards, (three yellow, two green) with four being committed by Florida and one committed by Loyola.

O’Leary’s Insight

“We did a great job in the first half capitalizing on our opportunities. The second half was exactly the opposite. We got ourselves behind with yellow cards and some untimely turnovers. We will watch film and make sure we address our issues and get back next week at UNC.”

Key Notes

  •  Hall’s five goal performance was the 28th career hat-trick recorded in a season opening game in Florida history. It was the 17th of her career.
  • Gabbi Koury recorded her first career collegiate point on her assist to Hall in the first quarter.
  • Sarah Falk scored her first goal as a Gator, with her free position goal in the second quarter.
  • With two goals, Emily Heller now just sits 9 goals shy of 100 for her career.

Streaks in Consecutive Games

Next up
Florida has an exhibition game on Wednesday Feb. 14 against the Scotland National Team. Their next regular season game will be against the third ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on Feb. 17 at 11:00 a.m. in Chapel Hill.

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