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No. 11 Gators Head to Nashville for Conference Clash Against Commodores

First draw is set for 1 p.m. ET and 12 p.m. CT at Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex

via UF press release/website, by Corey Lichtman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 11th ranked Florida lacrosse team is back on the road this weekend, as they take on AAC opponent Vanderbilt on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and 12 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

This is the 18th career meeting between the two programs, with the Gators winning 15 in a row against Vanderbilt and 15 of 17 overall. Florida has won the last seven meetings by at least eight goals, including last season where they had their largest margin of victory over the Commodores by a score of 22-6 in Gainesville. Emily Heller and Danielle Pavinelli scored four goals each in that matchup, along with a team high four assists from Maggi Hall.

The Gators sit at 10-2 and 1-0 in AAC play on the season with an active 10 game winning streak. Florida is coming off a perfect 5-0 home stand, most recently defeating Liberty on Wednesday afternoon by a score of 23-3. 13 different Gators scored, led by Hall who seven points on two goals and five assists, along with hat-tricks from Danielle PavinelliMadison Waters and Lea FlobeckLiz Harrison had 14 draw controls in route to becoming the all-time leader in draw controls at Florida with 359 and counting.

Outlook on the Commodores
Vanderbilt enters this game with a 6-3 record overall record, and an 0-1 record in AAC play. They are coming off a 19-6 road win over Xavier last Wednesday. The Commodores are led by junior attacker Molly Finlay, who leads the team in goals (22), assists (7), points (29), and draw controls (32). Vanderbilt is coached by Beth Hewitt, who is currently in her sixth season at Vanderbilt owning a 47-39 record during her time in Nashville. She has led the Commodores to three winning seasons in her previous five years, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2021.

Gators Going Big
Harrison, Hall and Heller were named Inside Lacrosse Midseason All-Americans on Thursday afternoon, with Harrison and Heller being named to the second team, and Hall earning honorable mention. Florida was one of 14 teams to have three or more players named to the list.

Hall Heroics and Pavinelli’s Potential
The attacker duo of Hall and Pavinelli have been huge parts of this first ranked scoring offense in the country, scoring or assisting on nearly 48 percent (106 of 221) of the teams goals this season. Hall has 14 points over her last two games (seven goals, seven assists) and leads the team with 58 points (25 goals, 33 assists) overall. Pavinelli has 11 points over the last two games (seven goals, four assists) and leads the team in goals with 26 overall.

Defensive Denial
The Gators defense has been lockdown over this 10-game winning streak, allowing just 5.6 goals per game on just a .207 shooting percentage. The Gators are coming off a game where they held Liberty to a season low three goals, and the lowest total given up since May 16, 2021 against Jacksonville. The Gators held AAC opponents last season to a .318 shooting percentage, holding Vanderbilt to 6 of 23 shooting (.261 percent) in their last meeting.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
UF set a season high 16 assists last game against Liberty, tying a program record that they set last season against Vanderbilt. The Gators have recorded double digit assists in the last seven games, and lead the country averaging 9.58 assists per game.

Draws Lead to Shots
Florida ranks second in the country in draw controls, averaging 18.58 draw controls per game. The Gators have dominated the draw battle in their last 10 games, not only winning that battle in all 10 games, but winning by a +10.90 margin per game, out drawing their opponents 198-89 during that time frame. Earning all these possessions has allowed the Gators to get a lot of shots on goal, as they have taken at least 30 shots in eight of the last 10 games.

Key Notes

  • Florida has a 5-0 career record at Vanderbilt
  • The Gators own a 12-2 record all time in the central time zone
  • UF owns a 26-1 record overall during their time in the AAC

Milestone Watching

  • Emily Heller is three draw controls away from 200 career draw controls
  • Sarah Falk is three points away from 200 career points
  • Amanda O’Leary is eight wins away from 400 career wins
  • Maggi Hall is one goal away from moving into 13th all-time in goals

Active Streaks (eight games or better)

Watch No. 11 Florida take on Vanderbilt on ESPN+
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