Florida lacrosse team repeats as conference champions

Special to Gatorsports.com

The ninth-ranked Florida lacrosse team got to hoist the American Athletic Conference regular season trophy Sunday after clinching at least a share of the championship with its 22-9 defeat of Vanderbilt at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

The Gators (11-2, 8-0 AAC) have won the regular season conference championship both of their years in the AAC and have won 10 regular season crowns across three conferences (ALC: 2011, '12, '13, '14; BIG EAST: 2015, '16, '17, '18; AAC: 2019, '21).

Florida has also won 38 consecutive regular season conference games, dating back to the start of conference play in the 2016 season.

The Gators honored their eight seniors and three student managers in Senior Day festivities after the win. Eddy Shoop, Annie Wright, Kassidy Bresnahan, Grace Haus, Cara Trombetta, Shannon Kavanagh, Brianna Harris and Kaitlyn Dabkowski took part in the ceremony.

"I am very honored to be able to coach this senior class," UF coach Amanda O'Leary said. "They have done such an amazing job here over the course of their careers and I could not be more thrilled for them."

The Gators had eight different goal scorers vs. Vandy (11-4, 6-2), including a team-high seven from Kavanagh. With her first goal, she tied the record for most consecutive games with a goal (40).

Haus, Bresnahan and Danielle Pavinelli each recorded a hat trick in the game, while Maggi Hall, Emily Heller and Harris each found the back of the cage twice. Paisley Eagan registered one goal of her own on the afternoon to round out Florida's goal scorers.

Harris dished out a season-high four assists, while Bresnahan and Haus each posted two. 

Florida once controlled the draw circle, coming up with 20-of-32 draw controls. Kavanagh posted a team-high 10, securing the program record for draw controls in a career as she passed Shannon Gilroy's record of 303. Eagan and Harris each secured three draw controls, while Heller added two.

The defensive quartet of Trombetta, Dabkowski, Emma Wightman and Becky Browndorf held four of Vanderbilt's top scorers to just 1-of-7 shooting and two assists.

Dabkowski, Kavanagh and Trombetta led the way with two caused turnovers apiece, while Heller, Wightman and Kavanagh once again tallied a team-high three groundballs in the game.

Sarah Reznick saw all 60 minutes in the cage, coming up with nine saves for a .500 save percentage.

The Gators head to Norfolk, Va. to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs for the final series of conference play Friday. Florida has to win just one of the two games to claim the regular season title outright.