Florida favored to add AAC tournament title to collection

From staff reports
The Gators are playing for their seventh consecutive conference tournament championship this week.

Florida's No. 8 lacrosse team may have more problems dealing with overconfidence than playing against any of the three other teams in the American Athletic Conference Tournament at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

After browsing the statistics sheet, one can't blame the Gators (14-2 overall) if they would look past their opponents, starting with today's 4:30 p.m. matchup against Cincinnati (7-9) at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The Gators are 9-0 against the Bearcats.

Let's take a closer look:

• The Gators, playing for their seventh consecutive conference tournament championship this week, are 6-0 against this year's AAC Tournament field.

• Florida, which went 10-0 to clinch the program's 10th consecutive regular-season championship, has scored at least 14 goals in each of the six games against the field this season.

• The Gators have outscored the field 107-40.

• Florida owns an impressive 104-19 (.846) record at Dizney Stadium.

There's more, but you get the point.

"With this senior class that's the last thing I have to worry about," UF coach Amanda O'Leary said. "They are definitely all gas, no break. They have the will to win.

"They are so dedicated and so devoted to make sure we're going as far as we possibly can. They have exceeded all expectations."

The second semifinal will be between Vanderbilt (12-5) and Temple (11-4) 45 minutes after the conclusion of Florida's game. Thursday's winners play for the trophy starting at noon Saturday.

The games will stream on ESPN+ and can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch.

Admission to Dizney Stadium is free and will be capped at about 700 fans. The usual COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

Florida swept the six major postseason awards, the league announced Wednesday. Grace Haus was named AAC Attacker of the Year, Shannon Kavanagh was named Midfielder of the Year, Cara Trombetta earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades, Sarah Reznick was named Goalkeeper of the Year and Danielle Pavinelli earned Freshman of the Year.

To round out the award winners, Florida's staff of head coach Amanda O'Leary, Taryn VanThof and Nadine Hadnagy were named as the AAC Coaching Staff of the Year.