The No. 7 Gators lined up at Dorrance Field for its biggest game of the season against the No. 1 Tar Heels.
Despite both teams’ rosters full of all-American selections, Florida walked out of Chapel Hill with a bitter taste in its mouth as North Carolina defended its home turf.
Gators’ Goalkeeper Sarah Reznick and her defensive crew kept the offensively powered UNC team from stealing the game. Reznick registered a career-high 16 saves and tied the program record.
But attacker Scottie Rose Growney couldn’t be denied as she netted four goals for UNC. In a similar fashion, attacker Grace Haus finished with a hat trick and three goals for the Gators.
North Carolina went up 4-1 early before senior Haus scored back-to-back goals. About a minute later, Ashley Gonzalez, a Florida freshman midfielder, scored her first collegiate goal.
At the half, UNC led by one. And one soon turned into six as UF’s offense dried up until the midpoint of the second half.
Florida’s defense is tied for ninth in the NCAA in scoring. Its 27 fouls, however, clouded the team’s offensive ability.
After a six minute scoring drought in the second half, senior Growney scored a hat trick and expanded the Tar Heels’ lead to seven. Three minutes later Haus earned a hat trick for the orange and blue.
Shannon Kavanagh posted only two points in the match. The AAC Preseason Midfielder of the Year scored for the 29th game in a row.
North Carolina sealed its win 11-5 through the seven goals it scored in the second half.
Florida’s Feb. 23 game against Kennesaw State was postponed due to COVID-19 cases within the Owls’ program. No. 7 Florida is set to face No. 5 Loyola Feb. 28 in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and will stream on ACC ESPN+.
Contact Karina Wilson at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @kk_rinaa
Karina Wilson is a second-year student at the University of Florida within the College of Journalism and Communications with a specialization in sports and media. She aims to produce engaging, accurate and current content for all types of sports fans. Currently, Karina is The Alligator's lacrosse beat writer.