Senior Grace Haus eagerly darted to the Bearcats net from midfield.
Haus wound back and catapulted the ball toward the goal. The shot stunned Cincinnati goalie Kate Brocato, and Haus earned another goal.
Florida scored four goals on five shots in the first four minutes of the match. The orange and blue won 15 draw controls.
AAC Preseason Co-Defender of the Year Cara Trombetta governed the defense with two ground balls and prevented the Bearcats from scoring. The Cincinnati Bearcats had their work cut out for them as they couldn’t sync up with the all-conference Florida team.
Attacker Hannah Mardiney attempted to shoot when she didn’t have the space to do so and received a yellow card for a dangerous shot. This gave the Bearcats a man-up advantage, but the foul ultimately failed to energize the Cincinnati team.
Shannon Kavanagh, the AAC Preseason Midfielder of the Year, fought her way through traffic in the 12-meter fan to meet Brocato face-to-face before her shot entered the net. The senior secured a hat trick with under five to go.
The Gators led 15-0 at the end of the first half.
“It feels really good to be back home,” Kavanagh said. “Everyone stepped up to the plate today.”
The Bearcats ran out of the locker room anxious to put a point on the board. But Cincinnati’s aggressiveness earned them a yellow card for a slash to Trombetta’s head. Through a free position, Midfielder Paisley Eagan found Kavanagh, who ricocheted the ball into the net and scored.
Cincinnati finally hit the back of the net seven minutes into the half with back-to-back goals from attacker Monica Borzillo, the Bearcats’ leading point scorer, and midfielder Sam Mlkvy.
Haus upped the heat as she sprinted down the field and completed her hat trick with back-to-back goals. She showed Cincinnati no mercy.
Freshman Jackie Norsworthy was awarded a free position due to shooting space. The midfielder rifled the ball past goalkeeper Gianna Pope and chucked her stick in the air to celebrate her second goal of the season.
Almost every Florida player got field time, including goalkeeper Julia Hammerschlag, who saw 10:33 of cage time. Hammerschlag and Sarah Reznick, the AAC Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, restricted the Bearcats to three goals.
The Gators charged out of the locker room, coach Amanda O’Leary said.
“They competed from the very first whistle,” O’Leary said. “We saw a lot of different goal scorers.”
O’Leary said she saw excellence on both ends of the field the full hour. Her players came off the bench and played at the highest level.
Contact Karina Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.