By Jim Harvin/Correspondent
The No. 4 Florida lacrosse team was looking to keep the momentum rolling following last Saturday’s upset of defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Maryland.
Visiting Loyola, however, had other ideas.
The 12th-ranked Greyhounds came in fired-up and focused, and the result was a lopsided 17-6 win to hand the Gators (2-1) their first loss of the season before a Donald R. Dizney Stadium crowd of 452 Saturday.
“Credit Loyola,” UF coach Amanda O’Leary said. “I thought they came out and played a really strong game. We had seen them on film and we knew how dynamic their offense was, so it was a little disappointing in the fact that we had a strong game plan. I don’t think we executed that game plan very well, but again I credit Loyola. They came out and really put us on our heels.”
Loyola(3-0) scored a pair of goals in a little more than three minutes before Shannon Kavanagh put the Gators on the board with a goal, with an assist from teammate Brianna Harris.
The Greyhounds would eventually take a 7-2 lead before Florida answered with free position goals from Kavanagh and attacker Grace Haus to close within 7-4 with 6:31 remaining in the first half.
From that point, UF did not score again while Loyola had put up nine goals to take a commanding 16-4 lead with 10:52 remaining to play.
When Harris finally did find the back of the net, it came with just nine minutes left to play – a span of 27:30 between goals for the Gators.
Each team added a goal in the final four minutes to complete the scoring.
Loyola’s Sam Fiedler led all players with seven goals, while Livy Rosenzweig and Elli Kluegel each added three.
Rosenzweig, a first-team IWLCA All-American last year, added a game-high three assists and goalkeeper Kaitlyn Larsson was outstanding, recording 11 saves – nine of them in the first half.
“I think their offense is really dynamic,” O’Leary said. “They’re great cutters, and we worked all week on defending cutters.
“Livy is just fantastic when she gets the ball. She’s a great driver and feeder in one, so we really focused on trying to alleviate that aspect of the game. We just didn’t execute any of those opportunities.”
Harris, Kavanaugh and Haus each scored two goals for UF, with Harris and Kavanaugh each adding an assist.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Sarah Reznick, who faced 29 shots, had a season-low eight saves.
UF travels to face Kennesaw (Ga.) State on Wednesday before returning to The Diz to take on No. 5 Stony Brook on Saturday at noon.
“First and foremost is Kennesaw,” O’Leary noted. “That’s the only one we’re focused on right now. We talked about learning from this, so hopefully we’ll get back down to watching film and we’ll be able to kind of correct the big mistakes we made.”