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Thursday, May 19, 2022
<p>UF senior Mollie Stevens fights off a North Carolina player during Florida's 13-10 loss to the Tar Heels on Feb. 11, 2017, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.</p>

UF senior Mollie Stevens fights off a North Carolina player during Florida's 13-10 loss to the Tar Heels on Feb. 11, 2017, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

With 10:54 remaining in Florida’s game against Stony Brook, attacker Mollie Stevens received a pass from attacker Sammi Burgess and put it in the back of the net.

The Gators held a 20-11 lead, and Stevens had scored her seventh goal of the game. But she'd also given Burgess another assist.

It's a familiar sight for Florida: While Stevens is racking up goals from in front of the net, Burgess is working the ball around for the assist.

Despite those different styles, the two team captains see similar results.

Stevens leads the team in goals with 41 and has 52 points, the second-most on the team. She also leads the team in draw controls with 69, keeping the Gators with possession of the ball after scoring goals.

“I think it’s more than just the goals that she scores,” coach Amanda O’Leary said following the team's game against Stony Brook. “(It’s) what she brings to the team with her energy, with her lacrosse IQ. Her all-around game has just improved tremendously, but all the credit goes to her. She’s put in the hard work to be where she is.”

Burgess, on the other hand, has 25 goals, which ranks fourth on the team. Where she dominates, however, is on the assists and points leaderboards. The Fallston, Maryland, native has a team-leading 30 assists and 55 points. She also became the fifth Gators player to record 200 career points after recording four points against Cincinnati.

“Sammi’s been a fantastic player for us in all her years here,” O’Leary said after Florida’s win over Cincinnati. “She came in as a freshman, set her mark early on and just continued to work hard. She’s developed into a complete player.”

Both players boost an offense that has outscored its opponents 124-44 in first halves and features five players with at least 24 goals.

Stevens and Burgess will look to add to their season totals and to the Gators' offense when Florida (11-2, 5-0 Big East) takes on Villanova on Wednesday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

“Villanova will be a great test for our team,” O’Leary said. “They are coming off two very close conference games and will be ready to play us.”

The Wildcats (3-9, 1-4 Big East) are coming off a three-game losing streak that includes a one-goal loss against Georgetown and a two-goal loss to Temple. They are led on offense by attacker Katie Comerford with 27 goals and 12 assists and on defense by defender Sam Scarfogliero with 42 ground balls and 27 caused turnovers.

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The game starts at 1 p.m., and the Gators are looking for their fourth straight win.

“We’re really looking forward to playing another home game in front of our fans,” O’Leary said.

Follow Jake on Twitter at @DreilingerJake, or contact him at jdreilinger@alligator.org

UF senior Mollie Stevens fights off a North Carolina player during Florida's 13-10 loss to the Tar Heels on Feb. 11, 2017, at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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