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Friday, April 19, 2024

Florida use huge second quarter run to battle past Vanderbilt 16-8 in conference clash

Dominant defense and a six-goal day from Emma LoPinto leads Gators past the Commodores

<p>Florida lacrosse overcame a first-quarter deficit to take down the Vanderbilt Commodores 16-8 Saturday afternoon.</p>

Florida lacrosse overcame a first-quarter deficit to take down the Vanderbilt Commodores 16-8 Saturday afternoon.

With 1:48 left in the first quarter, the Florida Gators found themselves in a rut. 

The Vanderbilt Commodores just scored their third goal in a row, putting the Gators in an unfamiliar two-goal deficit. 

After the early adversity, though, it was business as usual for this dominant Florida team.

The No. 10 Gators (10-4) cruised past the Commodores (8-5), 16-8 after an uncharacteristic slow start. Florida remains undefeated in conference play.

The Gators opened the scoring with a goal from freshman attacker Emma LoPinto, but the Florida offense languished in the early going outside of the initial deficit. Vanderbilt capitalized, scoring the last three goals of the period to take the early lead.

If it wasn’t for senior goalie Sarah Reznick, who made four saves in the period, Florida’s seven-game win streak could have been in danger. 

After the slow opening frame, it was all Gators.

UF outscored the hosts 7-0 in the second quarter, holding the Commodores to just three shots for the entire period. Florida’s offense finally found its rhythm and punished the Vanderbilt goal.

The dominance rolled over to the second half, with the Gators scoring the first four goals of the third quarter. After falling behind 3-1 in the first quarter, Florida went on a staggering 11-0 run to blow the game wide open. 

Vanderbilt scored four goals in the final frame, but the game was long decided by that point. The Gators already pulled their key starters, including Reznick in goal, and Florida's eighth-consecutive win was wrapped up. 

Freshman attacker Emma LoPinto led the Gators offensively, setting a new career-high with seven goals. Sophomore attackers Daniele Pavinelli and Ashley Gonzalez were strong supporting stars on the day. Pavinelli scored four and assisted one, while Gonzalez scored a goal and dished out a quartet of assists. 

Florida’s defense set the tone in this match, opening the game up for the likes of LoPinto and Pavinelli. The Gators conceded a season-low five goals on just 24 shots. Reznick dominated in cage, making 13 saves at a ridiculous 72%.

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Florida heads back to Gainesville for the penultimate conference game of the season to face the Temple Owls April 23 before the final home game of the year against Jacksonville April 27. 

Contact Topher Adams at Follow him on Twitter @Topher_Adams.

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Topher Adams

Topher Adams is a fourth-year communications major and in his fourth semester with the Alligator. He previously covered football, baseball and women's basketball. He also enjoys professional lacrosse and Major League Soccer.

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