Florida dominates a conference opponent.
This has been the story for the Gators lacrosse team in Big East play so far in 2018. Since dropping three non-conference games against ranked opponents Maryland, Syracuse and Towson, UF has torn apart its conference competition.
Wednesday’s 20-4 victory at Cincinnati marked No. 9 Florida’s fifth straight double-digit win and has put the team one victory away from its fourth consecutive Big East title.
“All around great effort today by the entire team,” Gators coach Amanda O’Leary said in a release. “The scoring was equally distributed and I thought we moved the ball well to find the free player.”
Florida (12-3, 7-0 Big East) opened its two-game road trip in impressive fashion, dismantling the Bearcats for its second-highest scoring output this season.
Cincinnati’s losing streak is now extended to seven games, and the Bearcats (6-8, 0-7 Big East) could be facing their eighth winless conference finish since joining the Big East in 2009.
The Gators found themselves behind early after Cincinnati’s leading scorer, Monica Borzillo, found the back of the net 3:02 into the game. However, Florida responded with a 14-1 run to close the half. Borzillo was kept off the board for the remainder of the game, despite putting up six more shots.
Cincinnati’s second-leading scorer, McKenna Rushford, only got off one shot and was held scoreless for just the fourth time this season. As a team, the Bearcats only put 13 shots on goal compared to UF’s 35.
“Defensively we did a very good job as an entire unit,” O’Leary said.
Junior attacker Lindsey Ronbeck led the way for the Gators on offense, notching four goals in the win.
In addition to earning a hat trick, freshman attacker Shannon Kavanagh set a new single-game school record for draw controls, winning 12 times in the circle. Freshman defender Sabrina Cristodero won five draw controls, while also contributing to the Gators’ defensive efforts against Borzillo and Rushford.
“Shannon (Kavanagh) and Sabrina (Cristodero) were outstanding on the draw,” O’Leary.
Junior goalie Haley Hicklen and senior attacker Shayna Pirreca continued Florida’s record-setting trend Wednesday afternoon. Hicklen picked up a ground ball for the 32nd game in a row — a new school record. Pirreca’s two goals put her scoring streak at 35 consecutive games, the best mark in program history.
The Gators, now winners of 29 straight Big East games, can clinch the regular season conference title with a win against Denver. UF has won the league every year since joining in 2015.
Florida will take on the Pioneers in Denver on Saturday at 2.
Follow Tyler Nettuno on Twitter @TylerNettuno and contact him at email@example.com.
Junior attacker Lindsey Ronbeck scored four goals in Florida's 20-4 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday.