Florida’s lacrosse team seems to be making the most of its Big East schedule.
After a tight 11-10 victory in its conference opener against Vanderbilt on March 18, the team has been unstoppable in Big East tilts, averaging 17.3 goals per game while limiting its opponents 7.3 goals per game.
Wednesday’s contest against Temple was no different, as the Gators defeated the Owls 15-3 at home, marking the team’s 26th consecutive Big East victory.
Temple’s three goals are the fewest Florida has allowed this season.
“They have an outstanding offense,” UF coach Amanda O’Leary said. “So it was really important for us to step up in our one-v-ones.”
Florida (9-3, 4-0 Big East) was able to keep its conference record perfect with only five games remaining in the regular season, while Temple (7-5, 2-2 Big East) dropped back-to-back matches for the second time this spring.
The Gators were able to score with regularity against the Owls, leading by as much as nine in the first half. UF took a 10-2 lead to the locker room.
Florida opened the second half with three straight goals, putting a running clock into effect for most of the period.
“Working together as a team offensively is really helping us,” junior midfielder Sydney Pirreca said.
Florida’s defense was able to contain Temple’s attack all afternoon, as the Gators outshot their opponent by an unbelievable clip of 38-13. The large turnover disparity between the two teams — TU turned the ball over 23 times to UF’s 14 times — limited the Owls’ ability to attack the net, and when they did, UF goalie Haley Hicklen made quick work of Temple’s offense, saving five of eight shots on goal before being pulled for Olivia Cole.
“We’re trying to make sure we’re stepping up and are there for each other on the help,” said senior defender Aniya Flanagan, who caused three turnovers in the win.
Junior attacker Lindsey Ronbeck and Pirreca each notched a hat trick, scoring four goals apiece. Pirreca’s older sister, Shayna, scored two goals, including the opening goal of the first half.
“I’m glad (the Pirreca sisters) are on my team so I don’t have to defend against them,” O’Leary said.
Florida will now hit the road for the first time in two weeks as it will travel to the southeast Pennsylvania to take on Villanova (6-5, 1-3 Big East).
Follow Tyler Nettuno on Twitter @TylerNettuno and contact him at email@example.com.
Senior defender Aniya Flanagan forced three turnovers in Florida's win against Temple on Wednesday.