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Monday, September 27, 2021

Florida lacrosse battles Mercer in first round of national championship

The Gators get home-field advantage Friday versus the Bears

Florida's Brianna Harris (pictured, No. 20) makes a move on a Cincinnati defender during the AAC Championship on May 8. Harris scored six goals and added four assists in the title game.
Florida's Brianna Harris (pictured, No. 20) makes a move on a Cincinnati defender during the AAC Championship on May 8. Harris scored six goals and added four assists in the title game.

Florida lacrosse laces up to take on Mercer in the first round of this year’s NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship.

The Gators boast the No. 6 overall seed after claiming the AAC championship. The Bears won the Southern Conference championship after they upset both Coastal Carolina and Furman. 

While the foes will square off for the first time in program history, they both took on the Jacksonville Dolphins and Vanderbilt Commodores during the 2021 regular season. 

The Gators crushed the Commodores April 16 and 18, while the Bears lost 15-10 March 3. However, the up-and-coming Dolphins left both teams in the dust. 

The AAC tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Brianna Harris, leads the orange and blue. The attacker netted six goals and tallied four assists in the conference championship Saturday. 

AAC Midfielder of the Year Shannon Kavanagh provided more offensive firepower. The New York native scored six goals and won three draw controls in the final game of the tournament. 

Kavanagh meets Mercer midfielder Erin Degnan in the draw circle. Degnan won only 41 draw controls, less than half of Kavanagh’s 89 wins. 

Goalkeeper Sarah Reznick notched three saves between the pipes. The freshman’s stellar performance earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team. 

AAC Defender of the Year Cara Trombetta caused five turnovers in the title match. The fifth-year senior recorded four groundballs in the Temple matchup, moving her just three away from former Gator Haley Hicklen’s all-time school record of 194.

Midfielder Hailey Rhatigan leads the way offensively for Mercer. The junior notched 58 points this season (44 goals and 14 assists). 

Bear goalkeeper Iseabal Cryne started all 14 regular-season games in net. The senior owns a .421 save percentage and 104 saves. 

UF enters its 10th-consecutive NCAA Tournament riding a 13-game win streak. The orange and blue look to keep dancing this weekend. 

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Opening draw is set for 4 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The game will stream on ESPN3.

Contact Karina Wilson at kwilson@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter @kk_rinaa

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Karina Wilson

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.


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