Gainesville, Fla. – The No. 4 Florida Lacrosse team braved the elements again Sunday afternoon, defeating the University of Detroit Mercy Titans, 22-3, in the pouring rain. The Gators captured their fourth straight victory, scoring over 20 points in back-to-back games for the first time in team history. The win lifts Florida to 4-1, while Detroit opens the year 0-1.
“I thought we played really well,” said Head Coach Amanda O’Leary. “They did all the things that we asked them to do. They made adjustments from Friday night. I think defensively we were solid. Offensively, obviously, did a good job with all our goals, and I though Cara and Mikey played great in goal. I was really overall happy with our performance.”
Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) followed her record-breaking performance from Friday night with four goals against Detroit, to finish with a 15-point weekend. Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) had a team-leading six points, notching four goals and two assists, and Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) and Shannon Gilroy (Huntington, N.Y.) each had two goals and an assist.
Colby Rhea (Abingdon, Md.) came off the bench for the first time this season, recording a goal and a ground ball, and Taylor McCord (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Jamie Reeg (Atlantis, Fla.) both scored their first goals of the season, with McCord also adding her first two career assists. Krista Grabher (Vero Beach, Fla.) and Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) both pitched in a pair of goals as well.
“I thought we played really well today,” said Reeg. “We kept it going the whole 60 minutes. We never let down. The defense communicated a lot and we really helped each other out.”
The Gators’ midfield and defense were solid, as Cara Canington (Bel Air, Md.) and Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) combined for seven saves while allowing just three goals, which ties the program record for fewest goals allowed in a game. Canington, who made her first start in the cage since 2010, had a save and a goal, while Meagher made six saves and gave up two goals in the second half.
Titan freshman Lexie McCormick, playing in her first career collegiate game, tallied 10 saves but allowed all 22 goals in the complete game.
Gilroy recorded five draw controls, Sally Jentis (Ridgewood, N.J.) had four draw controls and three ground balls, and Reeg had three draw controls and two ground balls. Nicole Graziano (Mendham, N.J.) caused a team-leading three turnovers, scooped up three ground balls, and notched a goal and two assists, including serving up one to her sister Erin Graziano (Mendham, N.J.).
For the second straight game, a Gator opened the scoring with back-to-back goals under 10 seconds apart, as Gabi Wiegand tallied the first two scores with just eight seconds in between. Dashiell and Bruns followed with a pair of goals before Preseason All-NLC attacker Emily Boissonneault put Detroit on the board with an unassisted goal at 17:03.
The Gators responded with a 12-0 run over the next 28 minutes to take a daunting 16-1 lead. The Titans maintained possession for a good portion of the second half, but Meagher made six saves and allowed just two goals, to help Florida earn its highest margin of victory in school history; UF also defeated Marist, 22-3, on Mar. 17, 2010. A school record 12 different Gators scored in the game.
Florida returns to action next Saturday, Mar. 3, to host No. 12 Syracuse in a non-conference matchup at Dizney Stadium. The then-No. 10 Gators outlasted the then-No. 11 Orange, 16-11, on Mar. 19, 2011, in their only previous meeting. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m.
Video Extra: Hear about the game from Coach O’Leary and several of the players: