via press release – photo via UF web site
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida women’s lacrosse team (6-1) is set to open BIG EAST Conference play on Saturday, with a clash against the UConn Huskies (3-4).
The opening draw is set for 12 P.M. from the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, Ct. Florida and UConn will be meeting for the fourth time overall, and the third time in Storrs. In 2016, the Gators won a 13-8 decision over the Huskies in Gainesville.
No. 3 Florida enters conference play on a six-game win streak, including wins over ranked opponents: No. 3 Southern California, No. 5 Syracuse, No. 7 Stony Brook, and No. 16 Towson by a combined 27 goals. The Gators are led on the offensive end by senior attacker Sammi Burgess (17 goals, 16 assists) and junior attacker Shayna Pirreca (26 goals, four assists). Florida’s defenders boast 175 combined starts, and are anchored by sophomore goalkeeper Haley Hicklen (62 saves, .484).
UConn has started the season 3-4, with wins over Fairfield, New Hampshire, and California. Junior attacker Grace Nolan (19 goals, 14 assists) and freshman goalkeeper Grace Beshlian (79 saves, .488) lead the Huskies.
#FLax in the NCAA
Scoring Offense: 3rd – 16.43
Ground Balls per Game: 4th – 24.29
Points per Game: 5th – 22.71
Scoring Margin: 9th – 5.86
Head Coach Amanda O’Leary:
“Playing at UConn will be a great challenge for our team. I think we’ve built some momentum in the past couple of games, and really gotten into a positive rhythm especially on offense. Getting into conference play is something you look forward to all season long.”
- Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting between Florida and UConn
- Florida leads: 2-1
- Home: 1-0 | Away: 1-1
- Last Time Out: April 24, 2016 at Florida | W, 13-8
- Sammi Burgess is 22 points shy of becoming the fifth Gator to amass 200 career points.
- Caroline Fitzgerald needs just 15 ground balls to pass Nora Barry (141) as Florida’s all-time ground ball leader.
- The Gators have won 11 consecutive BIG EAST Conference games dating back to the 2015 season, the longest conference win streak in school history
- Florida is also on a 10-game win streak in road games. With a win over UConn, the Gators would tie the all-time record of 11 straight road games set between 2012-2013.
The Gators return home to host BIG EAST foe No. 14 Denver (6-1) on March 25 at 12 P.M. The Pioneers will be the fifth ranked team Florida has hosted in a row.