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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
<p>Sophomore attacker Sammi Burgess fights for a ground ball during UF's 17-11 loss to UNC at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.</p>

Sophomore attacker Sammi Burgess fights for a ground ball during UF's 17-11 loss to UNC at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

No. 6 Florida defeated Niagara 21-4 for their sixth straight win.

After scoring just 11 goals in its win against Loyola on Tuesday, tied for a season low, Florida came back with 21 on Saturday, tied for a season high.

During the win streak, the Gators (6-1) have outscored their opponents 105-37. Florida out shot the Purple Eagles 35-10 on Saturday and tallied a season-high 27 ground balls.

The Gators jumped out to a 7-0 lead just four minutes into the match and, as they have done all season, played rather conservatively once they built a big enough cushion.

Twelve of Florida’s 21 goals were scored by players who checked in off of the bench, led by junior Darcy Messina who had a game-high and career-high three goals on her three shots.

“We have so much depth on this team,” Messina said. “We work hard for each other. We know that if someone’s having an off day, someone else is gonna be there to have their back, and I think that’s a really special quality this year.”

Lauren Lea, Sammi Burgess, Shannon Gilroy, Nora Barry, Shayna Pirreca, Chloe O’Haire and Devon Schneider all added two goals apiece. Once Florida’s offense finds it rhythm in each game, it is so difficult for the opposing team to slow it down. The Gators’ efficient offense seems to be getting even better game after game.

“It’s really important to finish all games out, and I thought we did,” coach Amanda O’Leary said after Saturday’s win. “I was really pleased with our efforts completely today.”

This Niagara (1-3) game happened to fall in between two of Florida’s more difficult matchups of the season with No. 18 Loyola this past Tuesday and No. 5 Syracuse coming up this Tuesday. Additionally, the Gators face No. 1 Maryland on the road next Saturday, so Florida did not want to overlook this game – something senior Nora Barry said was not an issue.

“I think we are a pretty mature team, and we did our best to focus on this game,” Barry said. “Obviously in the back of our minds, we know we have to come out and play hard for Syracuse, but our team is very experienced and are old enough to know that we still have to come out and play because Niagara’s a good team, too.”

Follow Alex Maminakis on Twitter @alexmaminakis

Sophomore attacker Sammi Burgess fights for a ground ball during UF's 17-11 loss to UNC at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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