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UF: Gators Breeze Past Temple, Advance to Big East Championship

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
via press release – photo via UF web site   Box Score VILLANOVA, Pa. – For the third year in a row, the University of Florida women’s lacrosse team (16-2) will play in the BIG EAST Tournament championship game. The Gators routed fourth-seeded Temple (13-5) in the first semifinal on Thursday, 21-9. Florida scored 14 goals in the first half, the most goals ever in a single half in a BIG EAST Tournament game. Florida went on a 14-1 run over the course of 25 minutes of game time between the first and second halves to effectively put the game out of reach. Prior to that Gator run, Temple had scored back-to-back goals, and narrowed the Florida lead to just 6-4. BIG EAST Attacker of the Year Mollie Stevens led the Gators offensively, netting five goals on six shots, winning three draw controls, while collecting a ground ball and causing one turnover. Fellow First Team attackers Sammi Burgess (four assists) and Lindsey Ronbeck (four goals) added four points to round out the Florida attack. Burgess’ four assists tied her career-high and the program record for assists in a game. Florida’s starting line of midfielders all made steady contributions to the victory, as Brianna Harris, Allie Pavinelli, and Sydney Pirreca all recorded two goals and an assist. Harris also tied for the team lead with three draw controls. The Gator defense limited Temple to just 17 shot attempts, and forced the Owls into 19 turnovers. BIG EAST Defender of the Year Caroline Fitzgerald paced the Orange and Blue, causing three turnovers, scooping three ground balls, and winning three draw controls. Freshman Cara Trombetta and sophomore Caroline Benitez each caused two turnovers and recovered two ground balls in the Florida win. #FLax in the BIG EAST Championship Florida is 2-0 in BIG EAST Championship games, and has won four conference titles all time.
  • May 2, 2015: The Gators topped UConn, 20-6, for their first BIG EAST Tournament championship
  • May 7, 2016: Florida defeated Temple, 16-4, to repeat as BIG EAST Tournament champions
  • The Gators have won 21 consecutive BIG EAST games dating back to the 2015 season
  • #PirrecaPower: Pirreca sisters Shayna and Sydney have combined to score 25% (78/306) of Florida’s goals in 2017
  • Shayna Pirreca is just eight goals away from becoming the ninth Gator to score 100 career goals
  • With two goals, Senior midfielder Carli Marsh had her first multi-goal game of the season
  • Haley Hicklen is 20 saves away from tying Mikey Meagher (145) for the most saves in a single-season in UF history
O’Leary’s Insight: “It’s a great feeling to be headed to the championship game. We are very proud of our team. They continued to play hard throughout the game, and matched Temple’s enthusiasm coming out of the second half. Competing for the chance to win a championship is what being a Gator is all about.” Up Next The Gators will meet the winner of the second semifinal (Georgetown-Denver) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for the BIG EAST Tournament trophy, and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.