UF lacrosse dominates England in exhibition
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 11:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 11:20 p.m.
The No. 3 recruiting class in the nation justified its high ranking on Thursday, as the Gators' newcomers combined for 12 goals in their 17-2 rout of the England National Team.
Florida made an extremely successful showing in its first international competition, promising that the Gators plan to pick up right where they left off at the end of their record-breaking 2011 season.
“I'm just really pleased with our effort,” said coach Amanda O'Leary. “I think we were a little jittery in the beginning, but overall just really pleased with the effort of our team, both offensively and defensively, and certainly in the goal cage. I thought Cara (Canington) and Mikey (Meagher) played tremendously.
“Our freshmen came out, you never know what you're going to get with your freshmen the first time they put on the Gator uniform, but boy, what an impressive night. ... Overall I'm really excited with where our freshmen are.”
Gabi Wiegand, a junior transfer from the University of Richmond, led the team with five goals and two assists for seven points in her first appearance as a Gator.
“She can distribute the ball,” O'Leary said of Wiegand. “She can score, she's a threat whenever she has the ball. So, we're just thrilled that she's become a Florida Gator.”
Freshman Nicole Graziano scored four goals in the game, including going 2 for 3 on free-position attempts, while adding a ground ball and a draw control. Returning All-American Kitty Cullen notched three goals and an assist and freshman Nora Barry added two in her UF debut. Juniors Ashley Bruns and Brittany Dashiell and freshman Taylor McCord each pitched in a goal apiece.
Ten of the Gators' 12 starters recorded a ground ball in the game, with Dashiell leading the midfield with three ground balls and three draw controls. Barry, Sally Jentis and Emily Dohony each recorded two draw controls as well.
UF's Meagher and Canington each allowed just one goal in 30 minutes of play, while combining for a total of 10 saves, Canington leading with six.
Cat Gaunt allowed 11 goals and made four saves for England in the first half, and Sally Keogh allowed six goals in the second half. Rachel Kirchheimer and Hannah Barnsley scored the two goals for England, both unassisted.
The Gators have a little over two weeks left of the preseason, before hitting the road on Feb. 11 to take on No. 3 North Carolina in the first game of the regular season.
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