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Wednesday March 14, 2012Florida Downs Stony Brook, 17-4

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 6/5 Florida lacrosse team handed Stony Brook its second loss of the season with a 17-4 win in the first-ever matchup between the two teams on Wednesday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The win lifts the Gators to 7-2 (0-0 ALC) for the season, and drops the Seawolves to 5-2 (0-0 America East).

“I thought they did a great job, our offense, of executing what Caitlyn (McFadden) and Erica (LaGrow) put forth,” Head Coach Amanda O’Leary said. “They went hard, they were on a mission, and I think they accomplished that.”

Junior Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) led the team with a career-high five goals and six points. Fellow junior Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) and freshman Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) contributed three goals and one assist each, while junior Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) extended her scoring streak to a program-best 33 consecutive games with at least one point and seven consecutive games with an assist after scoring two goals and two assists.

Junior Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) also contributed two goals and two assists, junior Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) registered a goal and two assists, and freshman Shannon Gilroy (Huntington, N.Y.) joined in on the action with one goal as well. Junior goalkeeper Cara Canington (Bel Air, Md.) recorded four saves in her first complete game since 2010.

“Today was just a total team effort,” said Chesterman. “We were really, really pumped for this game, because the last couple games have been close. We knew we needed to come out high, and we’ve been practicing really hard. We’re just really pumped about the win.”

Wiegand put up the first of Florida's points at 27:08 in the first half, scoring with a pass from Chesterman, who net a goal of her own just one minute later at 26:24. The next 10 minutes went without a score until Stony Brook's Demmianne Cook notched a goal for the Seawolves at 16:41.

After another 10-minute scoring drought, Wiegand scored her second goal of the game at 5:10 to give the Gators a 3-1 lead over the Seawolves. Stony Brook tightened the gap with another goal from the nation's leading scorer, Cook, on a free-position, man-up goal, before Florida closed out the half leading 5-2 following an unassisted goal from Cullen at 2:24 and a free-position goal by Barry with 16 seconds left.

The Gators opened up the second half with a quick score at 29:21 when Bruns passed the ball off to Shannon Gilroy, and Florida tacked on two more to go ahead 8-2, before Stony Brook's Amber Kupres scored one for the Seawolves at 26:14, assisted by Abby Ford.

Florida answered with another two goals, one on a wraparound shot from Bruns and another on a free-position shot from Barry. With the Seawolves playing man down, Stony Brook's Claire Petersen took a shot on goal to score the team's fourth and final point of the game at 19:32. The Gators dominated for the latter part of the second half, scoring seven unanswered goals, three of which came from Dashiell, before the clock hit zero, leaving a final score of 17-4.

Florida used tough defense to halt the Seawolves, getting Stony Brook to turn the ball over 12  times, while allowing just 11 shots throughout the contest. This is the seventh opponent of the season that Florida has held to single digits.

“I was really proud of our defense,” O’Leary said. “I don’t think we got antsy, we stayed focused, we stayed in the play, and I think we did exactly what we asked them to do. So, I’m really pleased with our defensive unit. They have some prolific scorers on that team, they’ve scored a lot of goals, and I thought … they all did a good job of containing that offensive unit as a whole.”

Next up, the Gators head to Williamsburg, Va., to face William & Mary on Saturday, March 17. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m.

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