Florida’s early season struggles now seem like nothing more than a distant memory as the Gators are cruising after winning their fifth game in a row.
The No. 10 Florida Gators (7-4) rolled past the Mercer Bears (5-3) 19-5. The Gators are now 6-0 against unranked teams this season.
Despite the lopsided final score, the game started competitively.
Mercer scored the game’s first goal and had a 2-1 lead early in the first quarter. The two teams took almost the same amount of shots in the opening period, but the Gators quality in front of goal shined and they took a 4-2 lead into the second.
That’s when Florida took full control of the game.
UF rattled off a three-goal run to start the second quarter and never led by less than three the rest of the way.
Whatever hope Mercer had left at halftime, when the Bears trailed 9-4, was quickly extinguished by the Gators. Florida outscored the hosts 6-1 in the third quarter alone and added four more goals in the fourth for good measure.
Florida rolled offensively, yet again, with its third-consecutive performance with at least 19 goals. Freshman attacker Emma LoPinto continued her sterling debut campaign by scoring five goals and providing an assist.
The Gators shared the wealth, though, with five different players scoring at least two goals. Sophomore attacker Ashley Gonzalez scored two and assisted two, while fellow sophomore attacker Maggi Hall tallied a hat trick. Sophomore midfielder Danielle Pavinelli had a quiet game by her lofty standards, but still added a pair of goals and an assist.
If it weren’t for Mercer goalie Iseabel Cryne, the Gators would’ve scored even more than the 19. Cryne made 15 saves at a respectable 41% while facing 36 shots.
The Gator defense was anchored by captain Sarah Reznick in goal. The Long Beach, New York, product made 12 saves at a scintillating 70%, keeping the pesty Bears out of reach throughout the game. Mercer also hurt itself on offense, committing 16 turnovers, six forced by the Gators.
Florida opens American Athletic Conference play Sunday at 11 a.m. with a trip to the Queen City to face the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Contact Topher Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Topher_Adams.
Topher Adams is a third-year journalism major and one of the assistant sports editors for the Spring 2023 semester. He also covered Florida football lacrosse for the paper and loves to follow MLS soccer and professional lacrosse.