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Thursday, December 07, 2023
Florida midfielder Emerson Cabrera carries the ball in her crosse during the Gators' 14-13 loss to the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.
Florida midfielder Emerson Cabrera carries the ball in her crosse during the Gators' 14-13 loss to the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.

In the final minutes of Saturday’s game, senior midfielder Emily Heller broke away from Temple’s defense and shot from outside the eight meter line to secure a fourth Gator win in a row.

The No. 9 Florida Gators (9-3, 2-1 AAC) defeated the Temple Owls (5-6, 0-3 AAC) 17-13 in a game of catch-up Saturday afternoon. The Gators had a one-point lead at the end of the third quarter; they never lost control and finished victorious. 

UF junior attacker Maggi Hall performed a textbook give-and-go with sophomore attacker Emma LoPinto to achieve the first goal of the day.

Junior attacker Liz Harrison won the following draw. Hall passed the ball to junior attacker Danielle Pavinelli, who scored high on frame. 

Temple senior midfielder Belle Mastropietro won the next draw and gave Temple a chance to score. Junior midfielder Camryn Zavacky slid in front of the cage and faked Florida redshirt senior goalkeeper Sarah Reznick. 

LoPinto answered Temple’s goal with a near-side shot on goal to put the Gators up 3-1. 

An eight-minute scoring drought occurred after LoPinto’s goal. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Sarah Reznick saved three shots by Temple — redshirt senior midfielder Paisley Eagan and Hall hit the goalpost in attempts to score. 

Temple eventually ended the drought.

Senior midfielder Emily Heller drove straight through the traffic in the eight meter and scored her first goal of the game. 

Temple’s offense passed the ball in front of the goal, but Florida knocked the ball loose and relayed it back to the Gators’ offensive side. LoPinto passed across the crease to Hall, who finished the play to put the Gators up 5-2. 

Pavinelli received a penalty shot in the last 30 seconds of the first quarter. Rather than going directly to goal, she picked her head up and assisted Lopinto to move Florida’s lead to four. 

Heller drew a shooting space call at the top of the second quarter and scored off the resulting penalty shot. 

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Eagan scooped up the ground ball on the draw circle and passed it to Hall, who finished low and put the Gators up 8-2.

Temple interrupted Florida’s shooting spree and scored off a free-position shot. 

Freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Davies received control of the resulting draw and assisted LoPinto for a 10-second goal. 

The Owls scored the next four goals — all of which started with a draw control by Temple. After Temple’s comeback, Florida's lead shrank to two points by the end of the second quarter. 

Hall scored in the first minute of the third quarter and started to rebuild Florida’s lead. 

LoPinto attempted to score, but Temple freshman goalkeeper Taylor Grollman saved the shot. Grollman cleared the ball to the Owls’ offensive side, where their feeder found a cutter to record another goal. 

Temple scored again shortly after to bring the score within one. For the remainder of the third quarter, the two teams went shot-for-shot. 

LoPinto snuck around the crease, received a pass from junior attacker Ashley Gonzalez and put the ball behind Grollman. Temple then scored off a penalty shot. 

Heller quickly scored another point off a successful draw control by fifth-year midfielder Emily Diaz; the Owls quickly followed with another goal. 

The Gators bounced back in the fourth quarter. Hall scored first in the final period off the kickback from Heller’s previous attempt. 

Heller and Pavinelli each scored off penalties and left the Gators up 15-11. Temple scored off a penalty shot, and junior midfielder Madison Waters did the same a few minutes later. 

Heller finished the match with a long-range shot from just outside the eight-meter line to end the game; Florida secured the victory 17-13. 

The Gators will next play Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, at 1 p.m. Wednesday. 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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