UF roundup: Lacrosse team’s season ends in NCAA second round


Special to Gatorsports.com

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The No. 19 Florida women’s lacrosse team put up a valiant effort for all 60 minutes Sunday, but fell to No. 3 North Carolina 15-11 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Gators finish the season with a 14-7 record, garnering both an AAC regular season championship and AAC tournament championship.

“What this senior class has done over the last four years speaks for itself – 66-16 overall record, undefeated in conference play, four regular season conference championships and four tournament conference championships is just incredible,” UF coach Amanda O’Leary said. “Today was a disappointing result, but the future is bright for this squad. We are excited for what is to come.”

Sydney Pirreca led the Gator offense, recording five goals. Caroline Benitez and Shannon Kavanagh pitched in two goals apiece as well, while Lindsey Ronbeck and Grace Haus recorded one goal each against the Tar Heels (16-3).

The Gators won 13 draws on the day, led by four from Ronbeck. Sabrina Cristodero and Brianna Harris each pitched in three draw controls as well.

As a squad, the Gators caused six turnovers on the day – coming from six different Florida players (Haley Hicklen, Caroline Benitez, Sabrina Cristodero, Cara Trombetta, Caroline May and Sydney Pirreca).

Haley Hicklen posted seven saves on the day, finishing her tenure at Florida with 49 wins – the second-best mark in program history. Hicklen finished her career leading Florida in saves (566) and groundballs (194).

Men’s tennis: Elite 8 of the NCAA Championships. The three seed Gators (24-3) will meet six seed Baylor (24-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Championships at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fla. Florida-Baylor will be televised on the Tennis Channel.

Men’s golf: Florida continues postseason action this week in Pullman, Washington, for NCAA Regionals. Florida returns postseason experience in sophomores Axelsen and Chris Nido and senior Gordon Neale. Florida won their 2018 regional in record-breaking fashion with a 42-under-par final score of 822. Nido finished in second place with Axelsen close behind at T6. The Gators hope to come out with similar successes at this year’s regional competition.

The event will be played at the par 70, 7,246 yard Palouse Ridge Golf Club, hosted by Washington State University. There will be three rounds of stroke play over three days of competition. The top five teams and top individual from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.