Lacrosse

LAX: Gators throttle Denver to claim fourth straight Big East Tournament title

FINAL: FLORIDA 19, DENVER 8

1st 2nd OT FINAL
DENVER 1 5 X 6
GATORS 10 8 X 18

Photo via Twitter.com/GatorsLax

Gainesville, FL – The Big East record book is probably happy to see the Gators moving to the American Athletic Conference next year. Playing in their final Big East Tournament, Florida put an assault on several records in becoming the first ever Big East four-pete.

The Gators topped Denver 18-6 in the title game thanks largely to an impressive defensive effort which head coach Amanda O’Leary called it “stellar, they were outstanding.”

Shannon Kavanagh got the first score of the game with a free-position attempt at the 26:37 mark of the first half. Florida started the game on a 7-0 run spanning the first sixteen minutes of the game before Denver’s Caitlin Derry finally put on behind Gators goalkeeper Haley Hicklen. The Gators never looked back after taking the lead.

Lindsey Ronbeck poured in seven goals against Denver, and finished the tournament with a Big East record 15. Her final goal, scored with 3:22 left in the game, was her 200th career point. Ronbeck became only the sixth Gator to ever reach that threshold. Ronbeck earned tournament MVP thanks to her efforts.

Sydney Pirreca finished with three goals while Shayna Pirreca and Grace Haus each added two more. For Shayna Pirreca, this was her program record 39th straight game with a goal scored.

Shayna Pirreca holds the Big East Championship trophy after the game.

Gators defender Caroline Trombetta caused six turnovers (a UF program record) for a tournament total of eleven, another Big East record.

Hicklen made nine saves on the day to add to her single-season UF record.

The Gators have won 33 straight Big East games and in four years, Florida won 40-41 overall in the conference.

Florida has now clinched the Big East’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and will await their fate. The Gators will likely host regionals, but that will be found out on Sunday at 9:00 PM as the selection show will air on NCAA.com.

Team Stats:

DENVER GATORS
SHOTS 23 37
SOG 15 28
SAVES 10 9
DRAW CONTROLS 15 11
TURNOVERS 16 11
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