CINCINNATI, Ohio – The No. 18 Florida women’s lacrosse team hoisted the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament trophy on Saturday after defeating Cincinnati 15-9 at Sheakley Athletics Center.
This is the sixth straight conference tournament championship for the Gators, dating back to the 2014 season (ALC – 2014, BIG EAST – 2015-18, AAC – 2019).
Florida notched the Tournament’s most outstanding player in Lindsey Ronbeck, along with five other All-Tournament team spots: Sydney Pirreca, Shannon Kavanagh, Grace Haus, Cara Trombetta and Haley Hicklen.
Ronbeck led the way offensively, scoring six goals to secure the victory for Florida. Shannon Kavanagh followed with four goals and three assists, while Grace Haus and Brianna Harris each recorded two goals.
The Gators caused 12 turnovers throughout the game, led by three from Cara Trombetta. Cristodero and Dabkowski each posted two in the game as well.
Haley Hicklen racked up six saves in the game for a .400 saves percentage.
How it Happened
The Bearcats got out to the early 1-0 lead after a free-position conversion, but Brianna Harris came off a great screen to score the equalizer. Just 36 seconds later, Harris found Sydney Pirreca, who muscled one into the back of the net to put the Gators up 2-1.
Grace Haus and Shannon Kavanagh kept the scoring streak going, both converting on free-position attempts to put the Gators up 4-1. Lindsey Ronbeck recorded her first goal of the day with 23:16 remaining the first half to give Florida a 5-1 lead.
Cincinnati scored three consecutive goals within three minutes to cut Florida’s lead to one at 5-4, but Ronbeck once again found the back of the net to stop the run and give Florida the two-goal lead.
Haus scored her second goal of the game with 12:35 remaining in the first half to give Florida the 7-4 lead and Ronbeck followed with her third goal of the day to extend the Gators’ lead to four goals.
The Bearcats notched their fifth goal of the game with 6:50 remaining in the first half to cut the deficit to three. Both teams would remain scoreless for the remainder of the frame, with the Gators taking the 8-5 lead into the locker room.
Harrris recorded her second goal of the game on a free-position attempt less than two minutes into the half, extending Florida’s lead to four goals at 9-5.
Ronbeck kept Florida’s scoring going, giving Florida the five-goal lead with her fourth goal of the day, but Cincinnati answered 25 seconds later to bring it back to within four goals.
From the 8-meter line, Paige Aldave found Ronbeck behind the net, who cut through the defense and scored an acrobatic goal while falling to put the Gators up 11-6. Ronbeck followed with another goal – bringing her to six on the day – this time on a goal from Harris.
The Gators kept it rolling, taking the 13-6 lead after Pirreca found Kavanagh in front of the net for a point-blank shot and goal. Pirreca found Kavanagh again 11 minutes later to push Florida’s lead to eight goals at 14-6.
Kavanagh continued to roll, scoring her third goal in a row with 5:28 minutes remaining in the game.
Florida’s defense held Cincinnati scoreless for a stretch of 20:55 in the second half before the Bearcats scored at the 4:20 mark, helping to secure the victory for the Gators.
Cincinnati closed out the game with two more goals, but Florida was able hold on and win the inaugural AAC Tournament championship.
American Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team
No. 18 Florida (13-6, 5-0)
Cincinnati (12-7, 4-1)