Florida's lacrosse team has an offensive motto – achieve a 50 percent shooting mark.
“For our attacking unit, that is our huge motto this year,” senior attacker Kitty Cullen said. “Each game one of our goals is to get 50 percent on our shooting, and so far, we've been pretty successful and some not so much.”
Though Florida (12-0) is undefeated, that goal will become even more critical as American Lacrosse Conference play begins against Ohio State (3-4) at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
UF has achieved its goal of shooting 50 percent in half of its games this season.
In wins with that came despite failing to reach the desired mark, the offense understands it did not do its job.
“When we do shoot less than 50 percent, even if we get the win, it's still a bummer,” Cullen said.
As the competition becomes stiffer, the Gators must find a way to become more efficient on their attack.
“We have to focus on being disciplined on offense and finishing our shots,” sophomore midfielder Nora Barry said.
Barry has been the most efficient shooter on the team, scoring 17 goals on 23 shots. She also has converted all six of her free-position shots.
Her shot percentage is .739 compared to the team’s .489 mark on the season.
“Half the time, if we shoot and miss then they go down to score,” Cullen said. “That's something going into ALC play that some big opponents can really take advantage of.”
Since 2010, 13 of Florida’s 15 losses came when the Gators had a shooting percentage of less than 50 percent.
The only season the Gators finished with above 50 percent shooting was the 2012 campaign.
“As much as we can, we attempt to go for that 50 percent and above,” coach Amanda O’Leary said. “And I think if we can do that, we are going to find ourselves have more success than if we don't.”
That efficient mindset that O’Leary is trying to instill goes along with taking the best shot possible and always making that extra pass.
“If they see someone in a better position to shoot, then they are going to dump the ball to them,” O’Leary said. “That says a lot about our offense because they are very unselfish.”
Cullen said that taking a weak shot and not finding the open player is not good in the end because you as a player are taking that possession for granted.
“The key is not to force any shot,” Cullen said, “Just kick it and let someone else shoot.
“It’s important to continue to make every shot count.”
Senior attacker Kitty Cullen looks to score against UAlbany on Feb. 24 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Cullen scored two goals in her final game for the Gators.