Saturday March 12, 2011No. 14 Florida Lacrosse Downs Temple, 19-4
The No. 14 Florida lacrosse team, fresh off a 17-10 upset of No. 9 Georgetown on Wednesday night, downed Temple University, 19-4, on Saturday afternoon at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
Eight different Gators scored against the Owls, led by sophomore midfielder Kitty Cullen’s (Rockville, Md) six points, including five goals on the afternoon. Cullen now has 32 goals on the season thus far, eclipsing her 31 goals total in her freshman campaign.
Sophomore attacker/midfielder Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) tied her career-high with four goals on the afternoon while sophomore attacker Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) had five points against the Owls (2 G, 3 A). Florida also saw multi-goal performances by sophomore attacker/midfielder Colby Rhea (Abington, Md.), redshirt freshman Hayley Katzenberger (Damascus, Md.), who scored her first goals as a Gator, and freshman midfielder Krista Grabher (Vero Beach, Fla.) who had two goals against the Owls.
Florida also received valuable points by redshirt freshman Erin Graziano (Mendham, N.J.), who scored her first-career goal, sophomore midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.), whose goal sparked a nine-goal run in the middle of the contest, and a great assist by sophomore midfielder/defender Kayla Stolins (Glen Arm, Md.), who assisted on a Chesterman goal after Stolins caused a turnover and sprinted past five defenders to find Chesterman open in front of the net.
The 19 goals by the Gators are the highest output by the Orange and Blue all season. The Gators haven’t scored that many goals since March 17, 2010, when Florida defeated Marist, 22-3.
Florida came right out of the gate with Rhea scoring back-to-back goals in the first three minutes of the contest. Cullen found the back of the net two minutes later to put the Gators ahead, 3-0. Temple’s Stephany Parcell scored for Temple before Florida went on a four-goal run, sparked by Chesterman’s first goal of the afternoon. The Gators kept the momentum for much of the half, only allowing two Owls scores in the first half.
Florida used tough defense to halt the Owls time and again, as they were only able to get off 14 shots through the entire contest, scoring just four times (.286). The Gator defense had six caused turnovers on the afternoon and Temple had 13 turnovers in the second half while only shooting the ball four times. The Gators on the other hand, came out firing in the second half, scoring 10 goals on 12 shots (.833), including nine-straight from 1:16 remaining in the first half to 14:20 remaining in the second half.
“We’re not typically a second half team.” Florida head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “That nine-goal run was fantastic for us. It really put Temple on their heels a little bit. I was really proud of those girls coming out of the locker room and getting the job done.”
The Gators held the Owls scoreless until well into the second half, continuing the momentum, highlighted by back-to-back scores by Chesterman and Cullen. Katzenberger scored the first goal of her career in the 46th minute of the contest, as she cut through the Temple defense and found the back of the net. Katzenberger scored again less than four minutes later, as Cullen unselfishly found an open Katzenberger while Cullen was prepared for a free position shot.
“It just felt great to be back out there,” Katzenberger said. “I was out last year (with an injury) and I’m still just so excited to be back out on the field.”
Grabher notched her second goal of the afternoon with 8:17 remaining on the clock to give the Gators an 18-3 lead. Temple scored on a free position shot two minutes later but the Gators had one more answer for the Owls, as Graziano sped up the field and scored her first collegiate goal with 36 seconds remaining in the contest.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) played an unbelievable game, coming up with saves when Temple was able to penetrate the Gator defense, and forcing the Owls to go 0-for-4 on free position shots.
Florida has now won six games straight, including five at home. The Gators are undefeated when scoring in double digits and held its fourth opponent to single digit scoring this season. The four goals for Temple were the lowest allowed by the Gators since Florida’s upset of Johns Hopkins in the ALC Tournament last year (May 6, 2010).
Florida continues its homestand by taking on Colgate on Tuesday evening under the lights of Dizney Stadium. Opening draw is set for 6:30 p.m. Florida will be looking to avenge an 11-12 overtime loss at Colgate last spring. The Gators’ matchup with the Raiders will be broadcast on www.GatorZone.com and WRUF SportsRadio 850 with Andrew Suarez and Michael Gillespie on the call.