Gainesville, Fla. – The No. 4 Florida lacrosse team opens a three-game homestand Friday, when the host the Saints of Siena College in a non-conference matchup at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Opening draw is set for 6:30 p.m.
Friday’s game will be the first-ever matchup between the Gators and the Saints. Florida is 2-0 all-time against members of the MAAC conference, having defeated Marist, 22-3, in 2010 and Fairfield, 15-7, in 2011. Siena has never faced a team from the ALC.
The Gators earned their first road win of the season last Sunday at UMBC, cruising to an 18-6 victory over the Retrievers. Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) led the offense with six points on four goals and two assists, while Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) and Nicole Graziano (Mendham, N.J.) each recorded five points. Graziano scored the first five goals of her career, while Bruns tied a school record with four assists. The Gators allowed just five turnovers in the game, tying the program record.
UMBC scored the first goal of the game at 26:18 off a UF turnover, but the Gators rebounded with a 7-0 run over the next 20 minutes of play. The two teams alternated points before the end of the half, and the Gators went into the locker room riding an 8-3 lead.
Bruns won the opening draw of the second half, drove downfield and flipped to Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) to score the Gators’ ninth goal just 12 seconds into the period.
UMBC’s Wilson scored her second at 28:05, but the Gators then netted four straight, including Florida’s first-ever man-down goal, registered by Cullen at 23:08, which made it 13-4.
The Retrievers were able to pull out two more goals, but UF put up an additional five, including three by Graziano, to take the contest by a final score of 18-6.
Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) was named ALC Rookie of the Week on Tuesday, making her the first Gator of 2012 to earn a weekly award. She is the fourth Gator to earn rookie honors, and Florida has picked up the award six total times.
Barry had a breakout game against Jacksonville scoring a team-high five goals, tying the school single-game draw control record with six and earning three ground balls. In total, Barry notched five goals, five ground balls, eight draw controls and a caused turnover in two big Gator wins.
The Siena College Saints open their 2012 slate at Florida. The Saints went 8-8 overall in 2011, finishing third in the MAAC with a 3-3 conference record. Siena opens the season tied for third in the MAAC Preseason Poll. Seniors Amanda Corso and Kristin Concordia both earned Preseason All-MAAC selections
Siena returns top field players Dierdre McQuillian, Kristin McMillan, Amanda Corso and Michelle Andreo, along with goalkeeper Kristin Concordia. Concordia finished the season ranked 11th in the nation in saves per game (10.0) and 16th in ground balls (2.88). McQuillian led the Saints in 2011 with 44 points (30g, 14a), and McMillan and Andreo were the third- and fourth-leading scorers, recording 30 and 22 points, respectively.
Friday’s game will be broadcast on GatorVision and audio will be streamed live on GatorZone, with Cory Stephens on the call. LiveStats can be found here, and as always, follow @GatorZoneLAX on twitter for live updates from the press box.