The Florida lacrosse team benefited from the one-two punch of sophomore midfielder Shannon Kavanagh and senior attacker Lindsey Ronbeck against Johns Hopkins in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Kavanagh posted five goals and three assists, while Ronbeck recorded three goals, one assist and a team-high six draw controls.
Their all-around performance on Friday led the No. 17 Gators to a 16-9 victory over the Blue Jays in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. UF has won 11 consecutive games after suffering three straight losses in March.
Florida’s (14-6) high-powered offense was on display in the early stages of the contest.
Ronbeck opened up the scoring on an unassisted goal at the 26:27 mark of the first half, and Kavanagh found the back of the net 13 seconds later.
Senior midfielder Sydney Pirreca followed up Kavanagh’s goal with three of her own before junior midfielder Brianna Harris converted from the free position to put the Gators up 6-0.
The Blue Jays (10-8) were held scoreless until attacker Aurora Cordingley found the back of the net at the 17:02 mark of the first half.
Junior defender Cara Trombetta earned a yellow card shortly after Cordingley’s goal, forcing her to leave the game for two minutes.
Johns Hopkins took advantage of the man-up opportunity, scoring two goals with UF’s defensive anchor tethered to the sideline.
Midfielder/attacker Nicole DeMase scored after Trombetta returned to the field to cut Florida’s lead to 6-4. With that goal, DeMase reached the 100-point mark for her career.
The Gators scored two more times before the end of the first half, but Cordingley’s third goal of the contest cut UF’s lead to an 8-5 advantage heading into the break.
Johns Hopkins trimmed Florida’s lead to 9-7 at the 25:50 mark of the second half, but that was as close as the Blue Jays got.
UF went on to score seven out of the last nine goals in the contest to earn a spot in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
It will square off against No. 3-seed North Carolina over the weekend in a rematch of UNC’s 11-9 victory over the Gators on March 16.
“The team played as a complete unit today, and it was really exciting to watch,” coach Amanda O’Leary said in a release. “We have some things we need to work on before facing North Carolina on Sunday, but overall, I’m just really proud of the effort tonight.”
Contact Bryan Matamoros at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @bmatamoros_.
Senior attacker Lindsey Ronbeck recorded three goals, one assist and six draw controls in Florida's 16-9 victory over the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays on Friday.