With age comes wisdom. But No. 8 Florida (2-1) would probably disagree.
The young team came out Saturday to face High Point University (1-1) and proved that being young doesn’t mean anything to the Gators.
After the first half, the Gators held a 14-2 lead and had five different scorers, two sophomores and one freshman.
One of those five scorers was junior Shannon Gilroy, who led the team in points and draw controls for her third consecutive game.
The junior became the first Gator to hold a double-digit record for draw controls.
Gilroy, who surpassed her 100th goal against No. 1 North Carolina in Florida’s season-opener, totaled a career-high eight points and finished the game with 10 draw controls. Over, under and even in between defenders, Gilroy shot 13 times and scored on eight of them.
However, the constant shots and outrunning defender after defender ended in an 18-7 loss for High Point.
“I think our offense is really good in transition, like the fast pace,” Gilroy said. “I think a lot of defenses have a problem with that and we fortunately have a lot of fast people.”
On one goal, Gilroy was being tailed by one of High Point’s defenders and managed to pitch the ball into the cage between two more defenders from the 8-meter line.
Sophomore Sammi Burgess felt that High Point’s zone defense made it easier for her and Gilroy to exploit the team’s weaknesses since Florida focused a lot of its practices to handling a zone defense.
Coach Amanda O’Leary said that the teams constant work on draw controls and ground balls since the season-opener at UNC has become key in winning games.
“It’s [draw controls] the most critical piece of the game at this point for us,” O’Leary said. “I thought Shannon did a phenomenal job. Nora and Sam (Burgess) as well on that draw circle.”
In addition to Gilroy’s points, junior Nora Barry had the second highest amount of points for the Gators, totaling four points. All four of Barry’s points came from free-position shots, making her 4-4 from the 8-meter line. She set a program record for free-position shots and season highs for goals (4) and draw controls (3).
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Shannon Gilroy attempts a shot during Florida's 18-7 win against High Point on Saturday in Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The junior midfielder set UF single-game records for draw controls (10), goals (8) and shots (13) against the Panthers.