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Friday, March 31, 2023
<p>UF lacrosse will match up against Kennesaw State for the second time in program history.</p><p> </p>

UF lacrosse will match up against Kennesaw State for the second time in program history.


Senior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen reached into the back of her net to retrieve the ball for a fifth time in the opening 10 minutes of the game.

She threw the ball back to the ref, and rounded up the rest of her teammates in an attempt to wake them up.

Whatever was said in that huddle must’ve resonated with the Gators, who went on to score the next four goals to cut the Terrapins’ lead to 5-4.

That wasn’t enough, however, as No. 4 Florida fell to No. 2 Maryland 17-12 in its first home game of the season on Thursday.

Junior attacker Kali Hartshorn was able to control the draw from the first whistle, allowing the Terps (2-0) to go on a 5-0 run to start the game.

The Gators (1-1) were outperformed in the draw circle by Maryland 20-11, forcing them to defend the well-balanced attack of midfielder Jen Giles, attacker Caroline Steele and Hartshorn. All of which scored four goals in the game.

Florida answered with a 4-0 run of their own but, by the end of the first half, it trailed 7-5.

Senior attacker Lindsey Ronbeck scored a goal 46 seconds into the second half to bring the game to within one goal for a second time.

It was all Maryland after that, though.

In a span of six minutes, the Terrapins scored six unanswered goals, which put all hopes of a UF comeback to bed.

Ronbeck led the way for the Gators with eight goals on the night, bringing her total to 12 just two games into the season.

“I thought Lindsey (Ronbeck) played a solid game,” coach Amanda O’Leary said. “She missed some opportunities early on but then came back at the end and started firing them in.”

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Sophomore attacker Grace Haus scored her second-consecutive hat trick, and Hicklen recorded 16 saves with a .485 save percentage.

Freshman attacker Hannah Mardiney made her presence felt with four assists -- all of them to Ronbeck.

Mardiney and Ronbeck have established a nice rapport by putting in extra work before practice.

“They actually come out on their own together,” O’Leary said, “so there’s a natural cohesion there.”

Despite its slow start, O’Leary commended the team for their effort against the second-ranked team in the nation.

“When you get down 5-0 to a team like this, it’s a little hard to crawl your way back,” she said, “but really proud of the team for their resilience.”

Follow Bryan Matamoros on Twitter @bmatamoros_ and contact him at 

UF senior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen recorded 16 saves in the Gators' loss to Maryland on Thursday.

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