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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Florida lacrosse second string seals blow-out win against Furman

Gators recorded season-high 20 points against Paladins

Florida senior Emily Heller carried the ball in her crosse during the Gators' 14-13 loss to the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.
Florida senior Emily Heller carried the ball in her crosse during the Gators' 14-13 loss to the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.

Florida women’s lacrosse threw its second string on the field at halftime after it accomplished a seven-point lead going into the break. The substitutions maintained the Gators’ lead and defeated Furman. 

Florida head coach Amanda O’Leary praised her starting lineup for building a lead in the first half, but she had no reservations about putting her bench unit in the game, she said. 

“We have so much confidence in the people on the bench,” O’Leary said. “It's a no-brainer for us.”

The No. 7 Florida Gators (2-2) beat the Furman Paladins (0-2) 20-9 in their fourth game of the season. UF controlled the game despite changes to the lineup. 

Sophomore attacker Emma LoPinto assisted junior attacker Danielle Pavinelli to score the first goal of the game. Pavinelli scored a second goal shortly after to put the Gators up 2-0. 

Senior midfielder Emily Heller, junior midfielder Madison Waters and Pavinelli scored the following three goals. The Gators led 5-0 before Furman scored its first goal with 3:55 left in the first quarter. 

Junior attacker Ashley Gonzalez set up LoPinto for a one-on-one goal on Furman's goalkeeper. LoPinto scored again to put the Gators up 7-1. The Paladins got back on the scoreboard to end the first quarter down 7-2. 

LoPinto scored the first goal of the second quarter. Gonzalez assisted LoPinto for the next two goals, leaving the Gators up 10-2. Furman recorded a third goal. Pavinelli assisted Heller to answer their opponent’s score. 

The Paladins scored the last goal of the second quarter and entered halftime down 11-4. With a seven-point lead, the Gators began to sub in their second string during the third quarter. 

Pavinelli was excited when the bench players saw the field. 

“It’s a great way to keep building the team and improving everyone’s game,” she said. “It created a good atmosphere to have everyone doing their part.”  

Freshman attacker Gianna Monaco assisted redshirt senior midfielder Emerson Cabrera for her first goal of the season. Junior attacker Maggi Hall followed up Cabrera’s goal with her own off a free-position shot to push the lead to 13-4. 

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UF recorded the next two goals; Monaco and junior midfielder Bella Palagonia scored off free-position attempts. Furman scored the last two goals of the third quarter to move the score to 15-6. 

Senior attacker Madison Reilly assisted freshman midfielder Jenny Woodings for the first goal of the fourth quarter. Furman quickly answered with a goal of its own. 

UF fired back with an assist from Reilly to senior midfielder Whitney Albert and a second goal by redshirt sophomore midfielder Jackie Norsworthy. 

Florida went shot-for-shot with Furman for the remainder of the fourth quarter. The Paladins scored off a free-position attempt; Gators senior attacker Kaala Puglisi then scored her own goal in response. 

After Furman's ninth goal, Woodings assisted Reilly for the game's final point. Florida won by a final score of 20-9. 

The Gators will next play Arizona at Donald R. Dizney Stadium at noon Sunday. The game will be streamed on ESPN+. 

Contact Kate Wiggins @kwiggins@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @katewigginz.

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Kate Wiggins

Kate Wiggins is a second-year advertising major and women's lacrosse reporter for The Alligator. Catch her pumping iron at Southwest Rec, double-scooting her friends to class, or dancing around at the nearest EDM concert.


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