Florida routs Marquette, 18-6

Florida lacrosse team at Dizney Stadium. [Jessica Rodriguez/Correspondent]

In a battle of unbeaten Big East teams, Florida resoundingly answered the call.

The No. 6-ranked Gators lacrosse team found the board early and often, with six goals coming in the first seven minutes, as it claimed a 18-6 win over Marquette on Saturday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

“We talk all the time about getting out of the locker room fast. And I think we did that,” UF coach Amanda O’Leary said. “Our team played really well offensively. They shared the ball, took opportunities that were afforded them. So, really, really proud of this team.”

Florida opened the scoring with a goal from Shannon Kavanagh from a free position shot, and from there the rout was on. UF built a 10-goal lead before 15 minutes had passed in the first half, enforcing a running clock that diminished Marquette’s hopes of clawing back into the contest.

Florida (11-3, 6-0 Big East) took a 14-2 lead into the break and never looked back, thanks in part to four goals apiece from Kavanagh and Sydney Pirreca.

“I think for us, we knew (Marquette) had a very strong offensive team,” O’Leary said. “They came in and they played very hard.”

After UF starting goalkeeper Haley Hicklen allowed just two goals on 10 Marquette (9-5, 5-1) shots, reserves Olivia Cole and Kenzii Kittell took over in the net in the second half to preserve the win.

Florida’s next two matches will be on the road, as the Gators travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, on Wednesday for a 12 p.m. match-up with the Bearcats before heading to Denver, Colorado, on Saturday to face the No. 25-ranked Pioneers. Florida will return home April 28 for Senior Day to host Butler University.

“We’re looking at a long week ahead, so it was nice to have some of our starters get a break,” O’Leary said. “But also good to see some players who typically don’t get in, and what they can do. And I was really impressed, they worked hard, they played hard and did a great job out there.”