The Gators lacrosse team, unbeaten through 10 games, is off to the best start in program history.
While playing against five top-20 opponents, including two ranked in the top five, Florida has relied on a consistent offensive attack led by senior Kitty Cullen.
Cullen has scored at least one goal in all 10 games.
She will be looking to extend her streak when No. 2 UF takes on Oregon (4-1) at Pape Field in Eugene, Ore., at 4 p.m. The streak has not surprised a confident Cullen.
“I think as a starting attacker, it’s kind of my job to get goals in every game,” Cullen said.
Cullen has scored two or more goals in eight of Florida’s 10 games. She is second on the team in total goals with 25 and first in points with 32. Fifteen of her 25 goals came against UF’s five top-20 opponents.
She is the Gators’ all-time scoring leader with 177 career goals and is second in points with 224.
Cullen credits her coaches for putting her in the right spot to find the open lane. She said “her spot” tends to be flanked left from the goal and she just waits for the ball to find her.
“I’ve been able to generate a lot of goals because of the different coaching plans the coaches have given us,” Cullen said.
Florida’s offense is averaging 14.4 goals per game. Cullen said the team’s balanced attack is the reason for the offensive success this season.
“The one big thing that separates us from a lot of teams this year on the attacking end is that every girl out there can score,” Cullen said. “Whether it’s the players coming off the bench that haven’t started or the starters that are out there, every single one of us is a threat. Teams can’t just shoot one or two of us down because all seven (of the attackers) can score.”
Six Gators have already surpassed double-digit goal totals this season. After scoring a season-high 18 goals against Lehigh on Tuesday, UF does not appear to be slowing.
Coach Amanda O’Leary credits the team’s seniors for providing the offensive spark, especially Cullen, who has scored first for the Gators in half of their games.
The last time Cullen failed to score a goal came in a 14-13 double-overtime loss to Syracuse in the Final Four last season.
“Throughout her years here at Florida, [Cullen] is willing to put her head down and get that first goal,” O’Leary said. “That’s just her mentality.”
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.