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Thursday, February 02, 2023

For the second time this season, the No. 10 Gators are not only out for a win. They are looking for redemption.

Of Florida’s eight losses last year, only two were within four goals or fewer. The first was a 13-11 heartbreaker at the hands of Georgetown. The other? A 12-11 overtime upset by Colgate.

After avenging their loss to the No. 13 Hoyas with a 17-10 victory at home on March 9, the Gators (6-1) have turned their attention to the Raiders (3-3, 1-0).

“We want to beat them more than Georgetown, I feel like, because we lost to them in overtime,” sophomore Emily Dohony said Saturday.

“We want to kill them like the score of this game,” she added, referring to UF’s 19-4 win over Temple.

Colgate will come to Dizney Stadium today at 6:30 p.m. to face a UF team that has outscored opponents by an average of nine goals through five of its scheduled nine straight home games this season. Florida split its only two road games so far, with the next coming April 2 at Penn State.

“Last year, it was a home game for them. It was our first year, and we weren’t really a good traveling team,” Dohony said. “Our heads weren’t in the game. This year, we have our fans, and we have our home field.”

The Raiders haven’t been keeping attackers away from goal, with 201 shots reaching their goalies this season. This shortcoming plays perfectly into Florida’s attack, as UF has outshot its opponent in each game this season.

“Our defense is getting the ball in our attackers’ hands, and our attackers are finishing,” UF coach Amanda O’Leary said. “It’s a combination of both, and they’re starting to really come together and blend as a team, which is exactly what you’re wanting to see heading into your conference play.”

O’Leary expects Colgate to use an offensive scheme that draws defenders out then dumps the ball within the 8-meter arc, but she said the Raiders might reveal some surprises like Georgetown did with its full-field press.

“Each and every team we play is going to throw something different at us,” O’Leary said. “Georgetown threw a very different defense at us ... so we’re going to have to play a much better defense as a team versus individual defense.”

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