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No. 13 Florida Defeats Mercer for Seventh Straight Win

via UF press release/website, by Corey Lichtman

Danielle Pavinelli and Josie Hahn combined for seven goals in the win.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 13th ranked Florida lacrosse team won their seventh consecutive game, defeating the Mercer Bears by a score of 20-7 on Saturday Afternoon. The Gators improve to 7-2, while the Bears fall to 3-4.

It was another wire-to-wire victory for the Gators, as they led by as many as 16 in this one. Florida had 11 different goal scorers, and 15 players record a point, led by Danielle Pavinelli who totaled four goals and two assists. Josie Hahn tacked on three goals, good for her first hat-trick of the season and third of her career. Maggi HallEmily HellerGianna Monaco and Ava Tighe all had two goals, along with Cate Isaacson, Makenna Harrington, Gabbi KourySarah Falk and Lea Flobeck having one each.

Florida dished out 12 assists as a team, reaching the double-digit mark in that category for the fourth consecutive game. Ashley Gonzalez had a season-high three assists, while Madison Waters, Pavinelli and Delaney Radin had two apiece. Hall, Isaacson and Paisley Eagan all connected on an assist as well.

The Gators doubled up the Bears on the draw controls, by a margin of 20-10. It is the fourth straight game that they reached at least 20 draw controls. Liz Harrison continued her dominance, winning 15 draw controls in the process of going over 100 draws for the season and 300 for her career. The senior now has 104 draw controls on the season, and 314 for her career, putting her second all-time in program history.
Georgia Hoey earned her seventh win of the season, recording two saves in net. Elyse Finnelle stopped 10 shots, all in the second half to hold it down for the Gators. The goalkeeper duo has held the opposing team to 10 or less goals in five of the last six games.

How It Happened

  • After a long first possession, credit to good defense from the Bears, Monaco picked up a ground ball of her saved free position shot, finding Waters who found Heller for the goal to make it 1-0 Gators with 13:28 left.
  • Almost two minutes later, Pavinelli displayed her creativity, slicing and dicing through the defense for the finish to make it 2-0.
  • After a Mercer goal at the 9:58 mark, the Gators answered with four straight goals in a three-minute span. Koury scored off the set-up from Hall, followed by a Hall eight-meter goal. Next, in a hectic sequence of events, Hall turned the ball over and immediately won it right back, finding Gonzalez who found Pavinelli for the score. Monaco capitalized on a free-position opportunity at the 6:02 mark to cap off the scoring run, making it 6-1 Florida.
  • Following a Bears goal, the Gators scored another four consecutive goals in the final 3:05 of the quarter, including two from Hahn and Pavinelli to make it 10-2 after one. Pavinelli had four goals in the first quarter, while 10 goals were the most the Gators have scored in a quarter this season.

Second Quarter

  • A little over two minutes into the second, Hahn broke the ice for her first hat-trick of the season and third of her career, off the set-up from Pavinelli to increase the lead to nine.
  • Florida scored five more goals in the quarter, to cap off a 10-0 extended run, giving them a 16-2 lead. Falk, Tighe, and Heller scored unassisted goals, along with Monaco scoring off an assist from Pavinelli and Hall converting on a free position opportunity.
  • A late goal from Mercer made it 16-3 at half.

Second Half

  • The second half was even, as both teams scored four goals each. The Gators had four different goal scorers, in Tighe, Flobeck, Harrington and Isaacson. Radin had two assists, to along with Isaacson’s one.
  • Finnelle had 10 saves on a .714 save percentage to seal the 20-7 Gators win.

Coach O’Leary’s Insight
“This was another great team win. We saw a lot of good goals and defensive stops. Our goalies played excellent, and our draw team had a really good day as well. Overall, we’re very happy with this win.”

Key Notes

  • The Gators won their 10th straight regular season home-game, and move to 129-23 overall
  • Florida moves to 5-0 all-time against Mercer
  • UF set season highs in goals in a quarter (10) and in a half (16)
  • Madison Waters two points today puts her at 100 career points
  • Liz Harrison moved into second all-time in draw controls, and now sits at 304 all-time
  • UF has now scored first in all nine games this season

Season/Career Highs

Active Streaks (eight games or better)

Next up
The Gators look to stay hot, as they take on Furman on Tuesday afternoon at 12 p.m. The game will be at Donald R. Dizney Stadium and streamed on ESPN+.

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