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Thursday January 24, 2013Team Effort Helps Gators To 18-13 Exhibition Win Over England

Gainesville, Fla.

Using a balanced attack, the University of Florida lacrosse team defeated the England National Team, 18-13, in exhibition play on Thursday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.


Eight different Gators scored goals led by senior attack Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) who finished the evening with seven points (five goals, two assists) and Nicole Graziano (Mendham, N.J.) who chipped in four goals.


“I thought the team played very, very well and we have really high expectations for this team and I thought we played a very good first half offensively and defensively,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said “We had some problems in the second half, I think that’s just basics, not being able to throw and catch and those things are easy to fix.”


Bruns helped get things started in the first half on an assist to Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) as Dashiell then assisted Bruns on the next goal for the following goal taking a quick 2-0 lead with 26:18 to play.  England scored sparingly in the first half as the Gators took an 11-3 halftime lead, thanks in part to six saves by senior goalie Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.). Graziano added to the Orange and Blue’s total off a free position shot with 22:13 to play. 


UF rattled off five-straight goals en route to the eight point lead after the first half, with goals from Bruns, Graziano, freshman attack Lauren Lea (Elkridge, Md.) and sophomore midfielder Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.).  England broke a 12 minute scoring drought with 4:19 to play but goals by senior attack Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) and freshman midfielder Sam Darcangelo (Freeland, Md.) gave the Gators an edge at the break.


England, who took Jacksonville to overtime in a 12-11 loss last night, roared back after the break, rattling off seven of the first ten goals in the half.  Cutting the Gators lead to five, O’Leary eventually called a timeout to get her team back on track.  They scored first out of the time out off a Barry goal and finished up the game with goals from Lea, Dashiell and Bruns.


UF scored seven goals in the second half, all from different players.  Freshman goalie Mary-Sean Wilcox (Lutherville, Md.) saw her game action in the cage, as she recorded two saves in the second half.  The Gators also won the battle on draw controls, taking a 21-12 advantage over England.  Four Gators – Barry, Dashiell, freshman Sydney DuPre (Houston, Texas) and senior defender Emily Dohony (Parkton, Md.) – all recorded three draw controls in exhibition.


Overall, the Gators led in ground balls (16), draw controls (21) and shots on goal (38) on the evening.


In all 25 Gators saw game action including eight newcomers.  O’Leary said she was excited to see the freshman class step on to the field for the very first time at the collegiate level.


“We got a lot of freshman in there which was fun to see how they compete at this level and we put a lot of pressure on them and I thought they played great,” O’Leary said.


Up next for the Gators is the regular-season opener at North Carolina on Feb. 9. Opening draw is set for 12 p.m. in Chapel Hill.


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