Gainesville, Fla. – The No. 4 Florida Lacrosse team continues its three-game homestand Sunday to host the Titans of the University of Detroit Mercy. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m.
The Gators (3-1) will face the Titans (0-0) in their season opener, marking the fifth straight opponent to open its season against UF. Florida and Detroit have never faced each other before. The Gators are 3-0 all-time against members of the National Lacrosse Conference, with all three meetings coming against in-state foe Jacksonville. The Titans, who will kick off their fourth varsity season Sunday, are 0-3 all-time against members of the American Lacrosse Conference, falling to Ohio State in each of their first three seasons.
Florida is coming off a record-setting night on Friday, when the Gators cruised to a 23-5 victory over the Siena College Saints. Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.), Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) and Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.), who were all named to the 2012 Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List earlier in the week, each made a strong case for the nomination on Friday.
Cullen opened the game with a bang, scoring the first two goals of the game just seven seconds apart, which breaks the all-time NCAA record for shortest time between back-to-back goals by the same player.
Shortly after, Bruns became the second Gator to reach the century mark in goals, netting her 100th career goal at 23:37. Bruns went on to score eight goals and 11 points to break UF’s single-game records in both categories. Her 11 points helped lead the Gators to their highest goal total in school history, as Florida put up 23 goals in game, surpassing the previous record of 22 set twice in March of 2010. Additionally, the Gators reached double digits in assists for the third time ever, putting up 10 assists for the second time in three games, as they tied the school record with 33 total points.
Florida’s freshmen played a solid game on the midfield, as Shannon Gilroy (Huntington, N.Y.) tied the school record with six draw controls, and ALC Rookie of the Week Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) and Sally Jentis (Ridgewood, N.J) each notched four to lead the Gators to their highest draw control total ever with 23.
Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) and Cara Canington (Bel Air, Md.) split time in the goal cage and each came away with three saves. Meagher allowed all five goals in the first half, and Canington recorded her first-ever scoreless appearance in the final 30 minutes.
The Detroit Titans struggled in 2011, finishing the season 3-15 overall and landing in a three-way tie for fifth in the NLC with a 2-5 conference record. Detroit’s strong suit in 2011 came in the midfield, ranking 10th in the nation in ground balls, averaging 19.0 per game. The Titans return leading scorer Emily Boissonneault, a Preseason All-NLC midfielder, who finished 2011 ranked fourth in the nation in caused turnovers (2.39/g), seventh in goals (63) and 10th in ground balls (3.11/g).
The Titans struggled in the goal cage last season, playing three different keepers who all averaged over 16 goals per game. However, they have made a complete line change in the cage, bringing in freshmen Melissa Anderson and Lexie McCordmick to hold down the back line this season.