Sydney Pirreca

Junior Sydney Pirreca scored three goals and added an assist Wednesday night against Jacksonville.

Alan Alvarez de Sotomayor / Alligator Staff

“Goal, Florida!”

If you were in the crowd at Dizney Stadium on Wednesday night, that’s a phrase you would have heard over the PA like a broken record.

UF’s lacrosse team jumped on the Jacksonville Dolphins right from the start, scoring two goals in the opening 70 seconds of play. The Gators (3-1) never let up against JU (2-2), eventually ending the night with a 16-5 victory.

Wednesday night’s game was a nice change of pace for Florida coach Amanda O’Leary and the rest of her team after its previous two games were decided by two points or less.

“We came out of the locker room ready to go,” O’Leary said. “We put some goals on the board early.”

Florida won its third game of the season due in large part to its scoring attack. The Gators jumped out to an early 9-0 lead and overwhelmed JU goalie Kristen Brunoforte, as she was only able to save three of 19 total shots on goal.

Where Brunoforte struggled, UF goalie Haley Hicklen shined.

Hicklen recorded 11 saves for a .786 save percentage before being replaced by backup Olivia Cole in the second half. UF’s defense was a brick wall in the first half, giving up only one Dolphins goal and taking a 10-1 lead into the break.

Florida opened the second half playing several reserves, and a goal from senior attacker Shayna Pirreca put Florida up by double digits with over 28 minutes left to play.

“We were able to get off to a fast start,” freshman attacker Grace Haus said. “And we just kept rolling from there.”

Haus played the best game of her career in a Gators uniform, finishing with four goals and two ground balls.

Pirreca was also an offensive force for UF Wednesday night, accounting for three goals and an assist.

Her sister, junior midfielder Sydney Pirreca, added in three goals, an assist and two draw controls.

Florida didn’t cause many turnovers (five), but its scoring ability and defensive strength made up for it in a game that was never in doubt.

Looking ahead, the victory should provide a quick tune up for UF before the team hits the road to take on a pair of top-10 teams in No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday and No. 5 Syracuse on Wednesday.

However, despite the big win, O’Leary still isn’t satisfied with her team’s effort. She said that for Florida to get to the level she believes it can, it will need to play a more complete game.

“We’re going to have to pay more attention to the little things,” she said.

Follow Tyler Nettuno on Twitter @TylerNettuno and contact him at [email protected].

Tyler Nettuno is a sports writer for the Alligator and covers the University of Florida lacrosse team. He has previously covered UF men's and women's golf. He has worked at the paper since Fall 2017.