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<p>Shayna Pirreca passes the ball during Florida's 12-11 win over Michigan on Feb. 13, 2016, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.</p>

Shayna Pirreca passes the ball during Florida's 12-11 win over Michigan on Feb. 13, 2016, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Teaching moments are a bittersweet commodity in sports.

On Saturday, the No. 10 Florida lacrosse team experienced its first significant teaching moment of the 2016 season.

Although Florida defeated Michigan 12-11, the Gators have outscored the Wolverines 41-4 in the only previous matchups between the two schools.

After Mollie Stevens scored a goal to kick off the second half to extend UF’s lead to 8-5, the Wolverines scored six consecutive goals to put themselves up 11-8 heading into the game’s final 10 minutes.

Sophomore attacker Shayna Pirreca, who started Saturday's game on the sidelines, single handedly drove Florida into the win column.

She scored three straight goals to knot the match at 11, and assisted on junior attacker Sammi Burgess’ game-winning goal with 10 seconds remaining on the clock.

Coach Amanda O’Leary said the team has a lot to learn from the win.

She said it starts with being more mentally prepared from the time her players are in the locker room before the match begins.

"We can’t just kind of get out there and just think it’s going to click," O’Leary said.

"We need to prepare throughout the week how we are going to play on Saturday."

However, Pirreca's play on Saturday served as evidence that she isn’t hesitant to step up when her team needs a scoring boost.

"When it came down to it, (Pirreca) said ‘give me the ball’ and away she went," O'Leary said.

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Pirreca, who tied career highs in goals (four) and assists (two) against the Wolverines, now leads Florida with 10 points on the season.

The final box score from Saturday’s win reassured O’Leary that the scoring void left by the recently graduated Shannon Gilroy will be filled this season.

Even with Pirreca scoring one-third of the team’s goals, two other UF players — Stevens and Burgess — finished the match with three goals apiece.

And thus far in the young season, the Gators feature six players who have scored on multiple occasions, with Stevens and Pirreca scoring just over half of the team’s goals.

"Obviously, it’s a lot harder to stop seven players than it is to stop one or two," O’Leary said.

Despite losing the draw controls battle 16-9 to Michigan, the Gators were able to refocus on the draw when it mattered most.

Leading up to the winning goal, Florida won three consecutive draws, with all three possessions ending in goals.

O’Leary cited the game’s final draws as an indication of her team’s drive to win close games.

"They wanted this game, and they weren’t going to lose it," O’Leary said.

"I think that was a huge telltale sign of what this team has and can do."

Contact Kyle Brutman at kbrutman@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @KBrut13

Shayna Pirreca passes the ball during Florida's 12-11 win over Michigan on Feb. 13, 2016, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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