It was not certain the Gators would win Saturday’s game. The Quakers tied the game 10-10 in the final quarter.
Florida pulled away, however, with a flurry of late goals to see out a ranked victory.
The No. 8 Florida Gators (8-3) beat the No. 23 Penn Quakers (5-5) 17-13 Saturday afternoon. The Quakers followed the Gators footsteps closely and tied the game three separate times.
The result of Saturday’s game was highly anticipated, and the question of who would score first was up in the air.
Penn scored the first goal off a penalty shot — the first and only lead of the game for the Quakers.
Florida responded with three consecutive goals by junior midfielder Madison Waters, sophomore attacker Emma LoPinto, and freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Davies.
Water’s shot on goal was deflected, and junior attacker Danielle Pavinelli was fouled while fighting for the resulting ground ball. Penn goalkeeper Kelly Van Hoesen successfully cleared the ball up the field and the Quakers scored their second goal.
LoPinto found sophomore midfielder Josie Hahn who scored to end the first quarter with the Gators up 4-2.
Junior attacker Liz Harrison won the first draw of the second quarter.
Redshirt senior midfielder Paisley Eagan received a yellow card and was pulled out of the game to put the Gators a man-down.
The Quakers took advantage and scored first in the second quarter.
Penn was two goals away from securing the lead. Eager to close the gap, the Quakers offense worked the ball around the twelve meter line until Penn senior attacker Niki Miles received the ball and drove straight to goal to tie the game at four.
Junior attacker Ashley Gonzalez found junior attacker Maggi Hall who scored to break the deadlock.
Pavinelli scored in the last 50 seconds of the first half to give the Gators a two-goal lead..
Lopinto scored again with 10 seconds left on the clock. Florida entered halftime up 7-4.
Once the Gators settled the ball down on their offensive side, players started creeping into the eight – looking for a pass from the feeders behind the goal. Eagan received the ball and went to goal for the shot.
Penn answered with a goal shortly after.
Harrison won the following draw. Pavinelli popped the ball to Gonzalez, who found Hall inside the eight meter to create a 4 point lead.
The Quakers responded with two consecutive goals.
Penn attacker Natasha Gorriaran had a breakaway run turn into a one-on-one with Florida redshirt senior goalkeeper Sarah Reznick. Gorriaran scored to cut the Gators lead to one.
Despite the pressure of the scoreboard, the Gators slowed the ball down on offense and strategically passed the ball and created space. Eventually, Eagan found an opportunity to shoot and restored the Gators’ two-point lead.
Penn rallied and scored two goals and tied the game at 10 at the end of the third quarter.
Gonzalez found freshman attacker Ava Tighe to break the tie at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Penn responded with a goal from Maria Themelis and tied the game at 11. The Quakers’ run ignited a shooting spree from Florida.
Hall assisted Tighe who scored to retake the lead. Hahn added two more on a pair of Gonzalez assists to help the Gators close out a 17-13 victory.
The Gators will next play the Temple Owls on Saturday at noon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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.