Gainesville, Fla. – The rain was coming down hard at Donald R. Dizney Stadium, but nothing could stop Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.), as she became the second Gator in team history to pass the century mark this evening, recording her 100th career goal en route to a school-record eight goals and 11 total points to help lead Florida to its highest goal total ever, defeating the Siena College Saints, 23-5. The win lifts Florida to 3-1, while Siena opens the year, 0-1.
Bruns, Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) and Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) were all named to the 2012 Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List earlier this week, and the trio certainly backed up their nominations tonight. Bruns netted eight goals on just nine shots and put up three assists to pass her own school record with 11 points. Fellow All-American Cullen was not far behind, scoring five goals and two assists, and Dashiell had three goals, a draw control and a ground ball.
Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) recorded two goals and an assist, Erin Graziano (Mendham, N.J.) notched her first two points of the season with a goal and an assist, and her sister Nicole Graziano (Mendham, N.J.) chipped in a goal as well. Freshmen Shannon Gilroy (Huntington, N.Y.) and Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) both played strong in the midfield, as Gilroy had two goals and a school-record-tying six draw controls, and Barry notched four ground balls, four draw controls, a goal and an assist. Fellow-rookie Sally Jentis (Ridgewood, N.J.) also tallied four draw controls, leading the Gators to a program-record 23 total.
Kitty Cullen got the Gators off to a hot start, scoring the first two goals of the game with just over two minutes off the clock. Sam Farrell (Millersville, Md.) scooped up a Siena turnover and tossed the ball to Jentis, who drove the ball downfield and flipped it to Cullen for the first goal. Wiegand won the following draw and tossed it straight to Cullen, who shot it in just seven seconds later, marking the fastest a single women’s lacrosse player has scored back-to-back goals in NCAA history.
Shannon Pfohl put Siena on the board just under a minute later, but Dashiell responded with the Gators’ third goal after just 30 more seconds. Less than a minute later, Bruns scored her first goal of the night to join Cullen as the second Gator to reach the century mark in career goals.
Siena’s Deirdre McQuillan fought back at 23:56, faking out the Gators’ defense and finding herself an empty net to cut the Gators’ lead to two. However, UF then exploded to score six goals in less than five minutes to jump out to an early 10-2 lead.
The Saints mustered three more goals before the end of the half, but went to the locker room trailing, 14-5.
Cara Canington (Bel Air, Md.) replaced Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) in the goal cage after the break, who made three saves in the first half, and went on to make three saves while holding the Saints scoreless through the entire second half.
At 11:30, Nicole Graziano gave Florida its 20th goal of the game, a total UF had not reached since 2010. With 3:03 remaining in the game, Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) served up Wiegand, as she netted the Gators’ program-record 23rd goal. UF had scored 22 goals twice, both in March of 2010.
Michelle Andreo and Shannon Pfohl each scored two goals for the Saints, and Deirdre McQuillan earned a goal and an assist. Preseason All-MAAC goalkeeper Kristin Concordia made six saves in the complete game.
The Gators are back in action Sunday afternoon, when they host the Detroit Titans in non-conference play at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m.
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