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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

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Behind a pair of hat tricks from Kitty Cullen and Caroline

Chesterman, the Gators weathered a second half ejection to claim

their third consecutive conference victory, a 14-10 win over Johns

Hopkins.  

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No. 6 Florida (12-1, 3-0 American Lacrosse Conference) began the

day on a tear the Blue Jays (7-5, 0-2 ALC), as Cullen blasted one

of her game-high five goals just 13 seconds into the match —a week

after the Tewaaraton Award watch list candidate needed only eight

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seconds to score against Penn State. 

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The Gators didn’t let off the gas in front of a season-high home

crowd of 1,027, as UF coach Amanda O’Leary’s team pressured Johns

Hopkins all over the field, causing nine first half turnovers. 

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“Riding’s always tough, especially when it’s 90 degrees out, but

luckily we were a little more used to the weather than Hopkins,”

Chesterman said.

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The Blue Jays careless passing fueled Florida to an 8-1 lead with

two goals apiece from sophomores Ashley Bruns, Janine Hillier and

Chesterman.

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“It was just great that we were able to spread the ball around,

especially on some of the goals, we had a lot of good ball movement

and a lot of good teamwork,” Chesterman said.

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Midfielder Brittany Dashiell also scored Saturday, just seven days

after suffering a concussion and missing significant time against

Penn State. After regaining a starter from last week though, the

Gators would be down another for the second week in a row.

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With 26:42 left to play, Bruns, who also had an assist, was ejected

after she was issued her second yellow card for slashing.

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Missing its second highest scorer, the team turned to Chesterman

who grabbed the offenses’ reins in Bruns’ stead. The midfielder

quickly injected herself into the action as she dished one assist

to Caroline Cochran, and then scored her third of the day with

16:28 left to play. 

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“Whenever you lose any player, whether it’s Ashley or Kitty or

Brittany it doesn’t matter who it is, it’s going to be a challenge

for those other people to step in and put goals on the board…But I

think we had people step up, again, out of nowhere to pick up the

slack,” O’Leary said.

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Initially, the Gators looked like they responded well to playing

down a starter. Their lead swelled to 13-5 before falling into a

lull, allowing the Blue Jays to go on a 4-0 run. 

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But Florida’s dominant scorer sealed the game, as Cullen ripped a

goal with 3:52 remaining. 

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“Something we do need to work on, and what we talked about in the

locker room, is when we hit that eight goal mark it was like we

just went into a lull,” O’Leary said. “That’s something that just

can’t happen, because even Hopkins today came back and made a run

at it.”

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