Gators Fall to Dukes in Top-10 Battle
Emma LoPinto led the way with four goals on Saturday afternoon
HARRISONBURG, Va. – In a conference battle between two Top-10 teams, the eighth-ranked Florida lacrosse team fell to the seventh-ranked James Madison Dukes in a back-and-forth 14-9 game on Saturday afternoon.
Florida moves to 5-3 on the year and 0-1 in the American Athletic Conference, while James Madison improves to 8-1 overall and 1-0 in the league.
The Gators were led on the offensive front by Emma LoPinto, who finished the game with a four-goal performance. Danielle Pavinelli added two goals of her own, while three players found the back of the cage once: Emily Heller, Madison Waters, Maggi Hall.
Hall dished out a team-high two helpers on the afternoon, followed by one from Ashley Gonzalez.
The Gator defense racked up a total of eight caused turnovers, led by three from Emily Heller – tying her career-high. Catherine Flaherty and Pavinelli each added two of their own, while Madison Waters notched one on the afternoon.
Sarah Reznick registered a team-high four groundballs on the day, while LoPinto, Heller and M. Waters each registered two.
Between the pipes, redshirt junior Reznick tallied six saves.
The Gators are back in action on Wednesday as the team travels to Macon, Ga. to face the Mercer Bears. Opening draw is slated for 3 p.m. on ESPN+.
No. 8 Florida (5-3, 0-1 AAC)
No. 7 James Madison (8-1, 1-0 AAC)
How It Happened
- James Madison got on the board first, scoring four minutes in, but Emma LoPinto cashed in on her free-position attempt just under three minutes later to even the game at 1-all.
- With just over five minutes remaining in the first frame, LoPinto netted her second of the day and 20th of the season to give Florida its first lead.
- The Dukes tied the game up with 4:02 left in the quarter, but Maggi Hall found a cutting Danielle Pavinelli to once again give the Gators the lead at 3-2.
- JMU found the back of the cage first in the second quarter, knotting the game at 3-3 just 57 seconds into the frame. The Dukes then took advantage of a woman-up opportunity, pulling ahead one with 11:56 left in the half.
- Maggi Hall drew the James Madison yellow card and then converted on her free-position shot to even the game at 4-4 with nine minutes remaining in the frame.
- On a Florida woman-up opportunity, LoPinto grabbed her fifth hat trick of the season on a pass from Ashley Gonzalez to give the Gators the one-goal lead. That assist was Gonzalez’s 100th career point, making her the 22nd Florida player to achieve that feat.
- Hall found LoPinto cutting in front of the cage for her fourth of the day, putting the Gators up 6-4 and then Pavinelli gave Florida its largest lead at 7-4 after scoring off her free-position attempt.
- The Dukes went on a 3-0 scoring run after two consecutive Florida yellow cards, tying the game at 7-all heading into halftime.
- Florida scored the first goal of the third quarter, with Emily Heller finding the back of the cage to put the Gators ahead 8-7.
- The Dukes evened it up just over two minutes later, but Madison Waters scored on an unassisted goal to give Florida the one-goal advantage midway through the third quarter.
- With the Gators leading 9-8, James Madison netted back-to-back goals across the final three minutes of the quarter to take the 10-9 lead heading into the final frame.
- Both teams were scoreless for the first 8:57 of the fourth quarter, but JMU was the first to find the net, taking the 11-9 lead.
- The next three goals belonged to the Dukes, with James Madison securing the 14-9 victory.
- With her first point of the day, Ashley Gonzalez became Florida’s 22nd 100-point scorer
- 2023 Hat Trick Counter:
- Emma LoPinto: 5
- Streaking: Sarah Reznick has recorded a save in 59-straight games, a new program record
- Streaking: Danielle Pavinelli has registered a point in 33-straight games and a goal in 31-straight games (fifth-longest streak)
- Streaking: Emily Heller had recorded a draw control in 31-straight games, the third-longest streak in program history
- Emily Heller tied her career-high with three caused turnovers
- Catherine Flaherty tied her career-high with two caused turnovers
- The Gators are back in action on Wednesday when the team travels to Macon, Ga. to face the Mercer Bears
- Opening draw is slated for 3 p.m. on ESPN+