via press release – photo via UF web site
Box Score GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida women’s lacrosse team had its season come to a close on Sunday, with a 15-12 loss to the Southern California Trojans in NCAA Tournament’s Second Round.
In a game that featured six ties and five lead changes, the Gators battled back from an early three-goal deficit in the first half to cut USC’s lead to 7-6 heading into the locker room. Coming out of halftime, Florida would go on a quick 4-1 run to take a 10-8 lead with 18:01 remaining in the game after Shayna Pirreca converted a free position shot. The Gators were unable to sustain that momentum over the rest of the second half, as the Trojans closed the game on a 4-0 run over the last six minutes of game time.
Florida outshot USC 34-24, but 14 saves from Trojan goalkeeper Gussie Johns kept the Gator attack quiet most of the afternoon. The Gators also won a 15-14 edge in the draw circle, while forcing USC into 19 turnovers. Senior Taylor Bresnahan and Cara Trombetta each caused three turnovers, with Trombetta also collecting three ground balls. Bresnahan (86), along with Caroline Fitzgerald (87), will leave UF at the top of the all-time caused turnover list. Fitzgerald started in all 82 games of her Florida career, the second most starts ever for a Gator.
Senior Sammi Burgess tied her career-high and the Florida record with four assists on Sunday, along with a goal to finish with five points. The attacker finishes her Gator career ranked fourth all-time with 227 points, and second with 86 assists. Fellow attacker Mollie Stevens scored two goals, won four draw controls, and scooped up four ground balls in the loss. The senior closes out her career with 159 goals, the fourth most in Florida lacrosse history.
The Gators put together a remarkable season in 2017, beating five ranked opponents, and posting a perfect 9-0 record in BIG EAST play while winning the program’s seventh consecutive conference championship and fifth conference tournament overall. Florida’s 16.8 goals scored per game this season will go down as the highest total in school history.
- #PirrecaPower: Pirreca sisters Shayna and Sydney combined to score 25% (85/336) of Florida’s goals in 2017
- Shayna Pirreca is just five goals away from becoming the ninth Gator to score 100 career goals
- Haley Hicklen recorded 142 saves this season, the second-most by a goalkeeper in a single-season at Florida
- The Gators won 17 games for the fifth time as a program
“A lot of credit to USC for being well-prepared for us and playing a great game today. I’d like to thank our group of seniors; they have been a tremendous influence on us this season. I’m so very proud of each and every one of their accomplishments. What they have done for this program and this university… We can’t ask for anything more. I’m thankful they are Gators.”