Saturday April 6, 2013No. 3 Florida Lacrosse Rebounds With Win Over No. 17 Johns Hopkins
Senior attackers Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) and Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) led No. 3 Florida lacrosse with five goals apiece, guiding their team to a 19-9 win over Johns Hopkins Saturday at Dizney Stadium. UF improved to 14-1 overall and 2-1 in American Lacrosse Conference action in front of a season-high crowd of 816 on a beautiful day in Gainesville.
Bruns and Cullen tied season-highs with six and seven points, respectively, while sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.) chipped in two goals helping Florida rebound off a loss last week to Penn State.
“You’re always worried how a team is going to respond after a loss and I thought they responded really well today,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “We started off fast out of the locker room, which is exactly what we needed them to do.”
Four Gators scored multiple goals for the largest margin of victory over the Blue Jays (7-5, 1-2 ALC) in their five game series history. Florida improved to 4-1 all-time over Hopkins, winning the last four meetings.
Gilroy got the Gators on the board first, scoring six minutes into the first half. Hopkins responded on a goal of their own from Jenna Reifler assisted by Taylor D’Amore but that’s as close as they could get as Florida responded with four unanswered goals to take a 5-1 lead. Bruns scored back-to-back goals while senior attack Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y) put a free position attempt in the back of the net and Cullen scored her first of the day all in a four minute and ten second span.
Wiegand scored four goals on five shots while Gilroy added two goals, helping their team score the second-most goals in a game this season.
O’Leary credited Cullen with coming out firing against Hopkins, providing the spark the Gators needed to record their 14th win of the season. In all, Florida was able outshoot its opponent 36-15, firing off 18 shots in both periods.
“Kitty was phenomenal today and did exactly what we needed,” O’Leary said. “She went to the goal hard, created some opportunities for us with fast breaks and was able to finish her shot.”
Hopkins scored with 17:28 to play but Florida again responded with a 3-0 run to hold its largest lead of the first half on a Bruns goal on a dish by senior middie Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.). Dashiell and senior attack Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) each led with two assists on the afternoon.
Chesterman opened the second half with a goal off a feed from Bruns before Hopkins fired back with a goal at the 25:30 mark. But UF would go on another 3-0 run with goals from Bruns, Cullen and Wiegand to take a 12-6 lead with 20:03.
Hopkins strung together back-to-back goals at the 16:13 and 14:40 marks, but it was Florida’s offense that again did the work answering with five-straight goals for a 17-8 lead with 10:10 to play.
Dashiell and Gilroy helped pace Florida with four draw controls each, as UF won draw controls (20-10) and ground balls (26-20). Bruns picked up a team-high four ground balls while Dashiell and Cullen each had three.
Senior goalie Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) recorded 60:00 in the cage Saturday afternoon, recording five saves on 15 shots by the Blue Jays.
The Gators are back in action next Saturday as they travel to Vanderbilt for their final regular season road trip of the season. Opening draw is set for 2 p.m. ET.
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