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Friday, October 15, 2021

Florida lacrosse to face Cincinnati in AAC Championship semifinals

The Gators looks to clinch a spot in the AAC Championship.

<p>The Gators battle the Cincinnati Bearcats in the AAC semifinals Thursday. Photo from UF-Cincinnati game March 26. </p>

The Gators battle the Cincinnati Bearcats in the AAC semifinals Thursday. Photo from UF-Cincinnati game March 26.

The Gators have home-field advantage Thursday as they welcome the Cincinnati Bearcats to Donald R. Dizney Stadium. 

No. 7 Florida, the AAC regular-season champions, sits two wins away from its seventh straight conference championship. 

The Gators swept the Bearcats March 26 and 28, as they defended the ‘Diz in their home opener. Florida won the two games emphatically, vanquishing the Bearcats by a combined 39 goals. 

Led by AAC Midfielder of the Year Shannon Kavanagh, Florida defeated the Liberty Flames 17-2 April 28 to end the regular season with its 11th straight win. 

Cincinnati scraped by the East Carolina Pirates 14-13 April 25 to cement its spot in the tournament.  

The Bearcats’ leading scorer, attacker Monica Borzillo, netted 36 goals and 24 assists so far in 2021. Alyssa Adams trails close behind with 35 goals.

Midfielder Sam Mlkvy will face Kavanagh in the draw circle. The senior recorded 81 draw controls this season, while Kavanagh boasts 78.

Kavanagh notched 60 goals so far this season. The New York native is a single goal away from becoming the fourth Gator to score 200 career goals. 

Attacker Brianna Harris also needs one goal for a career milestone, as she sits one score away from becoming the 14th UF lacrosse player to score 100 career goals. The Maryland native recorded a hat trick versus Liberty.

Florida dominated the postseason AAC awards Wednesday. Kavanagh achieved her preseason AAC Midfielder of the Year designation, while Grace Haus was tabbed AAC Attacker of the Year and Sarah Reznick earned AAC Goalkeeper of the Year honors. Danielle Pavinelli earned AAC Freshman of the Year and Cara Trombetta earned AAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades. 

Coaches Amanda O’Leary, Taryn VanThof and Nadine Hadnagy were also honored as the AAC Coaching Staff of the Year after they led UF to a perfect conference record. 

The game is set for 4:30 p.m. and will stream on ESPN+

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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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