Jacksonville took control against No. 3 Florida at the opening draw. The Dolphins stayed patient, holding the ball for the first 3 minutes of the game without attempting a shot on goal.
At the 27:06 mark during the first half, Jacksonville’s Nikki Ederly bounced the ball underneath UF goalie Mikey Meagher’s stick to give JU a 1-0 lead.
After a quick, failed shot by the Gators, the Dolphins controlled the ball for another 3:30 before turning it over.
Then the Gators got going.
Senior Kitty Cullen weaved in and out of the JU defense, nailing the ball in the top of the net to tie the game 1-1 with 22:42 remaining.
Six minutes later, Florida extended the score to 4-1.
UF tacked on streaks of four and five straight goals later in the game, never giving Jacksonville a chance.
Florida is 2-0 for only the second time in program history after defeating Jacksonville (1-2) 15-4 on the road Wednesday night.
The Gators are undefeated in four contests against the Dolphins, winning by an average margin of 9.8 goals per game.
“The goals were off feeds and off drives,” senior Gabi Wiegand said. “We were just kind of seeing what the defense was doing and giving us, and we just took our opportunities.”
Wiegand continued her early success this season by scoring five goals against Jacksonville, upping her 2013 total to seven. She scored twice during a 5-3 win against North Carolina on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“[Wiegand] not only scored in [one-on-one situations], she scored in transition, she scored around the crease,” coach Amanda O’Leary said. “She was just a threat everywhere.”
Wiegand has 10 goals in two games against the Dolphins.
Other than the first 6:30 of the game, the Gators were in command on draw controls and ground balls.
Florida led 13-8 in draw controls and 19-8 in ground balls.
“Anytime you can hold possession of the ball, the other team can’t score,” O’Leary said. “You can’t score without the ball.”
All but one of the Gators’ 12 starters scooped up a ground ball during the game.
Florida forced 10 turnovers compared to five giveaways.
“Our team competed really hard,” O’Leary said. “It’s doing the dirty work, and I think that’s where we really did a good job [Wednesday night].”