Gators attacker Lindsey Ronbeck was ready when the ball came her way during a free-position shot.
She caught the pass from midfielder Madi Hall and faked. Once Villanova goalie Julia Michaels flinched, Ronbeck placed the ball in the back of the net for her fourth goal of the game.
The goal put the Gators back up by 10, forcing the running clock to continue and ending a 2-0 Wildcat run before it could take off.
In an all-around offensive effort that saw seven players score at least two goals, No. 3 Florida (12-2, 6-0 Big East) defeated Villanova 19-9 on Wednesday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
“Credit Villanova for coming in here and playing very aggressively today,” coach Amanda O’Leary said. “They were able to capitalize on some of our miscues … I’m pleased we were able to make the necessary adjustments and come out with a win against a very good team.”
Ronbeck led all scorers with four goals, and attacker Sammi Burgess led the team in points with five off of two goals and three assists. Burgess’ second assist set the UF single season assist record at 32.
Midfielder Allie Pavinelli added three goals, and midfielders Sydney Pirreca and Caroline Benitez along with attackers Shayna Pirreca and Mollie Stevens each scored two goals.
The Wildcats (3-10, 1-5 Big East) were led by hat tricks from attacker Katie Comerford and midfielder Kim McDonough, which helped boost a Villanova offense that scored nine goals against Florida’s defense.
The Gators started out the game slow, scoring just three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“I think we just needed to focus on what kind of sets we were running,” Ronbeck said. “We were given a couple of new sets this past week in practice, so I think we just need to do a better job of reeling it in and really focusing on running the plays we have."
However, the Gators’ offense soon came alive, building a 13-3 lead before halftime. By the time the Wildcats got their offense going with six goals in the second half, the Gators were able to match it with six of their own, shutting down any Villanova comeback attempt.
Florida’s defense also kept Villanova from scoring more goals.
The Gators caused 11 of the Wildcats' 17 turnovers and won the groundball game 28-20. Defender Caroline Fitzgerald led the team with three caused turnovers and two ground balls, and defenders Cara Trombetta, Taylor Bresnahan and Aniya Flanagan added a combined two caused turnovers and seven ground balls.
On a day where the defense was playing strong, Florida’s goalies didn’t face too many shots. The Gators’ three goalies faced 15 shots, making a combined six saves.
“Their offensive players drove really hard from the top, and they did some off-ball cutting, which caught us off guard a few times,” Fitzgerald said. “I think we adjusted to them pretty well."
Follow Jake on Twitter at @DreilingerJake, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UF attacker Lindsey Ronbeck holds her stick up during Florida's 15-8 win against Denver on March 25, 2017, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.