On Sunday, Florida and Arizona State’s lacrosse programs met for the first time ever. A win was equally important for bragging rights and season momentum with both teams sitting around .500 and conference play approaching. The Gators would return home from Tempe, Arizona, with bragging rights, a boost in the IWLCA poll and a four-game winning streak.
No. 10 Florida (6-4) defeated Arizona State (4-5) 21-10 in a strong performance for the Gators. With just one game remaining before conference play gets underway against Cincinnati, a string of wins like this is exactly what Amanda O’Leary and her team need to gain momentum.
“It was a great opportunity for us to get some players experience against a strong Pac-12 team,” O’Leary said.
Danielle Pavinelli opened the scoring for the Gators in just 47 seconds. The sophomore would end the afternoon with a career-high seven goals. Pavinelli is on pace to become UF’s 19th 100-point scorer with 85 goals in 10 games so far. Pavinelli has recorded a goal in 13 straight games.
Speaking of career games, plenty of Gators put out the best stat lines of their collegiate careers during the contest. Ashley Gonzalez recorded a career high four goals and five points. Redshirt junior Paisley Eagan finished with four assists and seven points, both personal bests.
After an overall dominant first half, the Gators exited the locker room from the break up 14-4. Nine Gators found the back of the net on the way to a dominant performance offensively.
“We really came out today with a lot of energy,” O’Leary said. “Our offense was clicking from the start and swung the momentum in our direction.”
Despite the Sun Devils’ late run, it was a strong outing overall for the Gators’ defense. ASU nearly equaled their shot total (21) in turnovers (20). Florida was credited with forcing nine changes of possession. Sarah Reznick maintained a .400 save percentage. The senior has recorded a save in 39 straight games, the third longest streak in program history.
Florida stayed two steps ahead of Arizona State, outscoring the ‘Devs 7-6 in the final half of play. The Gators held onto their perfect 5-0 record against unranked competition.
Up next, the Gators have their final game before AAC play begins away against Mercer. The Bears are 5-2 on the season and have won their last two games against Presbyterian College and Stetson University. Florida will be Mercer’s third ranked opponent this year, with USC and North Carolina representing the Bears’ only other ranked competition and their only two losses.
FIrst draw in Macon, Georgia, is set for Wednesday at 3 p.m.