Friday February 22, 2013No. 3 Florida Lacrosse Cruises Past UC Davis 16-4
A relentless offensive effort led by senior attack Ashley Bruns (Ellicot City, Md.) guided No. 3 Florida lacrosse past UC Davis 16-4 Friday evening at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The win moves the Gators to 5-0 overall on the season as they continue on their best start in program history.
Bruns scored six points off four goals and two assists while senior attack Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.), sophomore midfielder Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.), sophomore selection for the evening, midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.) and freshman attack Darcy Messina (Sayville, N.Y.) each scored two goals in the effort. The Florida defense was relentless as well, as the Aggies (0-1) attempted just three shots in the first half and were held scoreless until the 21:27 mark in the second half.
“I’m just really pleased with the victory tonight,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “We had a lot of players that got a lot of playing time and it was fun to watch them out there and I thought they competed hard. I thought the first half we came out, and with this being a team (UC Davis) we had never played before, we didn’t really know what to expect. We knew they were going to be athletic and physical.”
UF used advantages in ground balls (20-17) and draw controls (12-10) to outlast the Aggies with three ground balls apiece from senior defender Sam Farrell (Millersville, Md.) and freshman defender Kelsey Hart (North Babylon, N.Y.). Freshman attack Carly Ross, Barry and Dashiell all recorded team-highs with two ground balls each. The Gators also chipped in a season-high seven assists from six different players in the effort as 28 of the 31 players on the roster saw action in the win.
Florida allowed just four goals in the effort behind efforts from goalies senior Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) and freshman Mary-Sean Wilcox (Lutherville, Md.) combined for eight saves on 15 shots. Meagher chipped two saves in the first half and Wilcox recorded six all in the second half.
Cullen got things started on offense for the Orange and Blue with 1:04 into the game off an assist by Bruns. The Gators had three goals in the span of one minute at the 21 minute mark in the first half with goals from Barry, Bruns and Cullen for a quick 4-0 lead. Barry added a free position goal with 15:40 remaining as the Orange and Blue went 2-for-3 in free position shots in the first half.
Gilroy added her first goal on the evening off an assist by Bruns to make it 9-0. Sophomore midfielder Nicole Graziano (Mendham, N.J.) started a running clock with 8:34 left in the first half as she helped move the lead into double-digits. Bruns and Gilroy closed the scoring on the half as the game was quiet after the 6:42 mark in the first half.
UF came out strong again in the second half, scoring the first two goals in the final period one from freshman midfielder Sam Darcangelo (Freeland, Md.) and the other from senior attack Erin Graziano (Mendham, N.J.). UC Davis’ Hannah Mirza spoiled the Gators’ shutout with her lone goal of the evening. Elizabeth Datino followed up with three goals to lead the Aggies in scoring on the evening.
Messina scored her first career goal with 20:00 left on the clock in the second half and followed up less than two minutes later with her second goal. Freshman attack Lauren Lea (Elkridge, Md.) capped the scoring in the game with her goal at the 5:27 mark. O’Leary credited her new comers for coming out with a strong work ethic Friday evening and playing a strong game.
“I thought Darcy (Messina) played really, really well and took advantage of the opportunities that she had,” O’Leary said. “I thought they all competed really hard and they worked for each other and that’s really what ask of them and they represented Florida lacrosse really well tonight.”
The 12 point win was the largest margin of victory for the Orange and Blue since May 19, 2012 when the Gators defeated ALC foe Penn State 15-2 in the NCAA tournament. The Gators wrap up their three-game homestand on Sunday as they host Albany with a noon opening draw at Dizney Stadium.
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