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Friday, March 01, 2024

Gators’ strong fourth quarter clinches win against Loyola Maryland

UF scored five consecutive goals in final quarter to trump No. 7 team

Florida midfielder Emily Heller carries the ball in her crosse in the Gators' 14-13 loss to the Maryland Terrapins Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.
Florida midfielder Emily Heller carries the ball in her crosse in the Gators' 14-13 loss to the Maryland Terrapins Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.

Florida lacrosse trailed 11-10 with eight minutes remaining. The Gators broke the tie and scored four consecutive goals in the final quarter to clinch their victory. 

The No. 10 Florida Gators (4-2) defeated the No. 7 Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (5-1) 14-11 in Saturday’s action-packed matchup. UF fought hard against one of the best passing teams in the country and secured its fourth win of the season. 

The Gators opened Saturday’s game with a draw control by senior midfielder Emily Heller. 

Florida junior attacker Ashley Gonzalez had an early shot on goal, only to be stopped by Loyola sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Spence.

Spence cleared the ball towards the Gators’ defense. Loyola senior attacker Emily Wills then scored with 12 seconds left on the shot clock to give the Greyhounds their first goal. 

After a failed shot by Loyola, Florida senior defender Becky Browndorf picked up the loose ball and passed it to redshirt senior midfielder Paisley Eagan. 

Eagan found junior attacker Danielle Pavinelli, who went for a shot but was??? fouled inside the eight-meter mark. Pavinelli scored on a free position attempt against Spence to tie with Loyola at 1.

From the eight-meter dash, Gonzalez gave the ball to junior attacker Maggi Hall, who scored and gave Florida a 2-1 lead. Hall shoots 73% — one of the best shooting percentages in the country. 

The Greyhounds answered with a shot on goal, saved by Reznick. Loyola immediately chased the rebound and set themselves up for a penalty shot. Loyola junior attacker Sydni Black scored and tied the game at 2. 

Loyola threw a bad pass, and Pavinelli reacted quickly and won the ground ball. The Gators then passed the ball around the perimeter, where Gonzalez eventually found Eagan to break the tie. 

The Greyhounds scored the last point of the first quarter and tied the game at three. 

Loyola grabbed the lead in the second quarter. Sophomore attacker Georgia Latch scored in the first 30 seconds to take a 4-3 advantage. 

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The Greyhounds strategically maintained possession of the ball and scored with 1 second left on the shot clock.

Eager to close the gap, UF freshman attacker Ava Tighe ripped the ball in and brought the score to 5-4. 

Loyola struggled in the Gators’ territory for a moment before Latch found graduate midfielder Jillian Wilson. The midfielder scored to put the Greyhounds in the lead at 6-4. 

Florida went shot-for-shot with Loyola for the next 7 goals. The Gators entered the fourth quarter down 9-8. 

Loyola caught the Gators’ defense off guard and scored first to put the Greyhounds ahead by two. 

Loyola fouled Pavinelli within the eight-meter mark. Pavinelli pivoted and passed the ball to Heller to bring the Gators back within one. 

Greyhound Emily Wills responded with a pump fake and goal to put Loyola up 11-9. 

Gonzalez scored off a free position shot and made it a one point game once again. 

Eagan rolled the ball into the net and tied the game at 11 for the first tie since the teams were even at three apiece in the first quarter. 

Hall broke the tie, and Pavinelli scored again to put the Gators in the lead, 13-11. 

Pavinelli, who suffered multiple hits throughout the game, stepped out for a moment to recover on the sideline. Regardless, UF excelled and Eagan found Tighe for another goal. 

The Gators won by a final score of 14-11. 

Florida will next play the Colgate Raiders at Donald R. Dizney Stadium at noon March 14. 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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