Gators open home schedule by cruising to 20-3 win over Cincy

Graham Hall
Special to The Sun

In the final home opener of their UF careers, seniors Grace Haus and Shannon Kavanagh contributed four goals each as the No. 10-ranked Gators lacrosse team cruised to a 20-3 win Friday over fellow American Athletic Conference foe Cincinnati. 

“I think we came out of the locker room fired up,” Florida coach Amanda O’Leary said. “Obviously the first game, you never know. It could be first-game jitters here at home. You never know.” 

Rather than exuding any anxiety, the scoreboard at Donald R. Dizney Stadium certainly reflected UF’s enthusiasm to have home-field advantage for the first time in 2021. 

Redshirt sophomore midfielder Paisley Eagan scored just 33 seconds into the match, her 14th goal of the season, and the rout was on. 

The Gators jumped out to a 8-0 lead in the first 9:53 of play and had a commanding 15-0 lead at half on 26 shots against Cincinnati goalkeeper Kate Brocato. 

UF’s defense, meanwhile, limited the Bearcats to just a pair of shot attempts in the opening 30 minutes. 

“They crushed it. I’m so proud of them. They came out, they competed from the very first whistle,” O’Leary said. “They kept their emotions under control. I think they came out knowing that we have this opportunity in front of us, to have our first home game, and they wanted to make the most of it.”

UF added five goals in the second half but couldn’t preserve the shutout before improving to 3-0 in conference play and 6-2 overall.

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Sarah Reznick had four saves for the Gators, who return Sunday to The Diz to conclude the two-game series with Cincinnati (4-5, 0-3), with first draw scheduled for 12 p.m.