Special to the Sun
A 9-0 run during the first 20 minutes Wednesday night powered Florida’s lacrosse team to a 15-6 win over Jacksonville at Dizney Stadium.
“We came out of the locker room ready to go tonight and put some goals on the board early,” UF coach Amandy O’Leary said.
“We need to continue to pay more attention to the little things as we move forward until we play a complete 60-minute game at the level I know we are capable of.”
Florida (3-1) built a quick four-goal lead less than four minutes into the contest, including scoring the first two goals of the game just 70 seconds after the opening draw.
The Gator defense limited Jacksonville (2-2) to only two goals through the first 45 minutes of game time, and held the Dolphins to a .208 (5/24) shooting percentage for the entire game.
All 26 Gators who were dressed for action saw playing time, including reserve goalkeepers Olivia Cole and Kenzii Kittell. Both Cole (2) and Kittell (1) made their first save of the season.
Freshman Grace Haus paced the Gator attack by scoring a career-high four goals on five shot attempts, while adding two ground balls and a draw control.
Pirreca sisters Shayna and Sydney each recorded a hat trick and tied for the team lead with four points apiece. Junior midfielder Madi Hall made an impact in the draw circle by winning a team-high three draws.
Florida’s defense only allowed one Jacksonville starter to score a goal, and held JU’s Ashtyn Hiron to zero goals on three shot attempts.
Junior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen logged 47:53 minutes in the cage against the Dolphins, turning in an 11-save, .786 save percentage performance.
Florida hits the road for the first time in 2018, with a marquee matchup at No. 3 North Carolina (3-1) set for Saturday afternoon.
Softball: Florida is again playing in the Judi Garman Classic through Saturday in Fullerton, Calif., on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
The Gators (16-1) come off an 8-0 week where the team recorded five shutouts that also included several notable individual performances and a coaching milestone. Coach Tim Walton secured his 800th career win after a 7-2 victory over Maryland to open the Aquafina Invitational. Walton, in his 16th season overall as a head coach, is averaging over 50 wins a year.
The Gators play Loyola Marymount at 5:30 p.m. ET time and Cal State at 8 p.m., then Friday at 12:30 p.m. vs. Michigan State and Charlotte at 8:30 p.m. and at 1 p.m. Saturday against Baylor.
Women’s tennis: The Gators (5-4) continue their nine-match road swing this week while playing their SEC opener at 6 p.m. today at No. 7 Ole Miss and Mississippi State on Saturday.