Sophomore midfielder Shannon Kavanagh received the ball just outside the crease with her back toward goal and a defender breathing down her neck.
Kavanagh had little room to operate yet decided not to pass the ball.
Instead, she spun around quickly and fired a shot past goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero to give Florida’s women’s lacrosse team the 10-8 lead with under eight minutes to play in the game.
That was one of five goals for the 2018 Big East Freshman of the Year that propelled the No. 20 Gators to an 11-10 victory over No. 19 Stony Brook on Saturday.
UF (4-6) and the Seawolves (4-4) went back and forth in the first half like a never-ending table tennis rally.
Senior attacker Lindsey Ronbeck opened the scoring for Florida on a free-position shot after drawing a foul on defender Rachel Williams.
Over a minute later, midfielder Sabrina Tabasso looped swiftly around the Gators’ defense and fizzled a shot past senior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen for Stony Brook’s first goal of the game.
Kavanagh slotted home an unassisted goal at the 19:35 mark of the first half before midfielder Ally Kennedy recorded one of her own less than four minutes later to tie the game at 2-2.
Another unassisted goal from Kavanagh restored UF’s lead, but the Seawolves scored two straight goals to give them their first lead of the day.
Sophomore attacker Grace Haus notched a goal just 48 seconds later, tying the game at 4-4 heading into the break.
Florida took control of the game with a 4-1 run, which consisted of one goal from the run of play and three from the free position.
Attacker Taryn Ohlmiller, Stony Brook’s second-leading goalscorer coming into the contest, limped off the field in the first half but returned for the start of the second.
She found the back of the net for the first time with 20:15 left in the game. Her goal was part of a 3-0 run that helped the Seawolves tie the score at 8-8.
Kavanagh answered back with two consecutive goals to put the Gators up 10-8. They maintained the lead for the rest of the game.
Stony Brook came close to forcing overtime in the closing seconds, but Hicklen made a crucial save to snap Florida’s three-game losing streak.
“Our defense really stepped up today, limiting a strong Stony Brook attack to just 10 goals,” coach Amanda O’Leary said in a press release after the game. “We still have some things to work on before heading into conference (play), but today was a good step.”
Follow Bryan Matamoros on Twitter @bmatamoros_ and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shannon Kavanagh scored five goals in the Gators 11-10 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday.