The Norfolk, Virginia, wind blew gusts of cool air through the polyester strings of the Old Dominion net.
Midfielder Shannon Kavanagh darted into the 12-meter fan, eager to score. The senior wound back her stick and ripped the ball into the goal, and the Florida bench erupted in cheers.
The Smithtown, New York, native boasts the program record with 41 consecutive games with a goal. Kavanagh finished Friday’s match with four goals.
Florida took a 2-0 lead early, but Old Dominion stayed determined to defend its home turf. The resolute Monarch defense held the Gators to a seven-minute scoring drought.
Attacker Lilly Siskind, Old Dominion’s leading point scorer, caught Gators goalkeeper Sarah Reznick off guard. Siskind dodged her way through the eight-meter arc to find the back of the Florida net halfway through the first half.
Reznick played lights out from there. The AAC Preseason Goalkeeper of the year recorded nine assertive saves in the match.
Florida’s defense, led by Kaitlyn Dabkowski and Cara Trombetta, occasionally let its aggressiveness get the best of it.
It fed the Monarch’s free position shots until one finally rolled into the goal. ODU freshman attacker Olivia Tanneberger made her mark on the score sheet as she ricocheted the yellow ball home.
Florida’s offense soon became too much for the Monarchs to bear. At the end of the first half, the orange and blue led by seven. Seven quickly turned into 11 as the game grew out of reach.
The Gators blitzed out of the locker room and capitalized quickly to start the final frame. With back-to-back goals, Brianna Harris earned a hat trick off a free position. The senior chucked her stick in the air and ran to her teammates for a celebratory embrace.
The Annapolis, Maryland, native recorded five goals. But the Monarchs caught wind one last time before the day was done.
Siskind brought it in alone. The attacker split UF’s defense and drove to the net. Reznick stretched from post to post, but it wasn’t enough to stop the speedy shot.
The last-minute effort from Old Dominion wasn’t enough to stop Florida from notching its ninth straight win.
Coach Amanda O’Leary said she’s pleased with the effort the team put forth today.
“We shared the ball well on [offense], getting a lot of different goal scorers into the mix,” O’Leary said. “On the defensive side of the ball, I thought we locked in really well on our assignments.”
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.