After the starting lineup built an eight-point lead, Florida fielded its second string in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and secured its eighth consecutive win.
The No. 7 Florida Gators (13-3, 4-1) defeated the Jacksonville Dolphins (9-7, 5-1) 16-11 in Wednesday’s game. The Gators’ momentum from the first three quarters carried their lead throughout the fourth quarter.
The Gators scored four goals before Jacksonville attacker Lauren Craft scored the first point for the Dolphins with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Junior attacker Maggi Hall scored off a penalty shot and left Florida up 5-1 at the end of the first period.
At the top of the second quarter, Florida junior attacker Ashley Gonzalez passed the ball from behind the cage to junior midfielder Madison Waters, who scored to push the Gator's lead to six.
JU responded with a second and third goal by Craft to tighten its deficit to three.
After the shot clock ran out on Jacksonville’s offense, the Gators successfully moved the ball upfield. Florida’s offense worked the ball around the 12-meter line until Gonzalez received possession and found an opportunity to score.
The Dolphins put two more goals in the net. Hall then scored a last-minute goal to end the first half with the Gators up 8-5.
Craft assisted Jacksonville attacker Grace Hobson for the first point of the third quarter. Hobson snuck around the crease and shot low to create a two-point game.
Florida answered with three quick goals by senior midfielder Emily Heller, Waters and Hall to push UF’s lead to five.
The Gators ended the third quarter with a 14-6 lead.
Sophomore attacker Emma LoPinto assisted junior attacker Danielle Pavinelli for the first goal of the final quarter.
Florida’s starting lineup built enough momentum to field its second string at the bottom of the fourth quarter. They maintained Florida’s lead in a chaotic fourth quarter of keep-away and finished with a winning score of 16-11.
The Gators will next play the Old Dominion Monarchs at noon Saturday. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.
Contact Kate Wiggins @email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @katewigginz.
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.