Aggressive coverage from Brown defender Olivia Lee didn’t deter Madi Hall.
The UF lacrosse team trailed for most of the first half against the unranked Bears, and she knew the Gators needed to assert control.
She powered through the tough defense and snuck a shot past BU goalie Erin Tucker as she fell to give Florida a 7-6 lead.
That goal led to seven more in a row, and UF never relinquished the lead in a dominating 22-11 victory over Brown on Tuesday night. Florida’s scoring attack also set a new season high in scoring.
“We knew they had a really good zone,” coach Amanda O’Leary said. “We knew that ball movement and making exact passes and finishing was going to be the key.”
The Gators’ performance was anything but dominant at the start, however.
A back-and-forth first half saw the lead change four times with five ties. The Bears’ largest lead of the evening was 3-1 early in the opening frame.
Two of Brown’s first three goals came from attacker Risa Mosenthal, who led BU (4-5) in scoring with three goals in the defeat.
The Bears were in control for much of the first half, but free-position attempts gave the Gators (5-6) opportunities to stick around. Brown committed 22 fouls, and UF, in turn, converted on 6 of 12 free-position chances in the game.
“We’re really good when we play physical,” O’Leary said. “I thought Brown equaled our physicality, and it’s fun to play a team that does that.”
Florida concluded the half on a six-goal run to take a 12-6 lead to the locker room.
That run continued into the second half. The Gators scored two straight goals to open the second period before a goal from Brown’s Claire Jeschke halted their streak.
UF still pulled away in the second half with the benefit of a running clock for most of it.
Attacker Lindsey Ronbeck, the No. 9 leading scorer in the nation entering the game, led the Gators in scoring with six goals in the victory. She also notched two assists.
Midfielder Shannon Kavanagh scored five goals and reached 100 career points. She’s the third-fastest Gator and sixteenth all time to do so.
In addition to her goal to start the Gators’ run, Hall scored three more goals.
Both goalkeepers had rough outings, with Tucker’s save percentage (.214) slightly behind UF goalie Haley Hicklen’s (.286).
But Florida put up 28 shots on goal compared to only 15 from Brown. Tucker allowed the most goals she has all season.
The Gators will now begin conference play in the American Athletic Conference for the first time since leaving the Big East after last season. They play Temple in Philadelphia on Saturday.
“For us, it’s just business as usual,” O’Leary said about playing in a new conference. “It’s going to be the same preparation that it would be for anything else that we’re doing.”
Follow Tyler Nettuno on Twitter @TylerNettuno and contact him at email@example.com.
UF midfielder Madi Hall scored four goals in Florida’s 22-11 win over Brown on Tuesday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.