Florida Gators Fall to Third-Ranked UNC 11-9

 

Author’s Note:  Former Barron Collier star Olivia Ferrucci, who has overcome two ACL injuries, led North Carolina with 3G/2A.  It’s great to see her back healthy and contributing like this!

 

via UF press release – photo by Courtney Culbreath

 

BOX SCORE

 

Florida closes game on 5-0 run, but drops 11-9 decision to No. 3 North Carolina

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No.16 Florida Gators rallied late, but it was not enough to over the third-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, dropping the 11-9 decision on Saturday afternoon at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Shannon Kavanagh led the way with a hat trick – her third of the season. Lindsey RonbeckGrace Haus and Sydney Pirreca each added two goals apiece on the day.

Sabrina Cristodero had the tough task of marking UNC’s leading scorer, Jamie Ortega, and she held her to 1-of-7 shooting on the day. Cara Trombetta was on Katie Hoeg, holding the Tar Heels’ second-best scorer to 1-of-3 during the game. Trombetta also recorded two caused turnovers in the game.

Cristodero led the way in the draw circle, coming up with six wins on the day.

Haley Hicklen notched 11 saves on the day, registering a .500 saves percentage. The senior goalie has now recorded double-digit saves in four games.

How It Happened 

The first half was one of spurts and that all started when UNC got out to the early lead at The Diz, going up 2-0 on the Gators, but Florida answered with a 3-0 run of its own.

Lindsey Ronbeck found the back of the net after a great pass from Hannah Mardiney to get the Gators within one at 2-1, then the senior followed with a free-position goal to knot it all up at 2-2.

Ronbeck then found a cutting Shannon Kavanaghwho found the back of the net to give Florida its first lead the day at 3-2.

The Tar Heels strung together a run of their own to follow Florida’s, going up 7-3 with five minutes to go in the first half. Sydney PIrreca fired a shot into the cage to bring Florida to within three goals at 7-4, but UNC added one right before the half to take the 8-4 lead into the locker room.

North Carolina came into the second half firing, taking an 11-4 lead with 25 minutes remaining in the game. The Gators kept fighting, going on a 5-0 run to get the game to within two at 11-9.

Sydney Pirreca led that spurt with an unassisted goal, then Shannon Kavanagh followed with back-to-back goals to put Florida within four at 11-7.

Grace Haus then added her name to the scoring column, registering her own set of back-to-back goals to cut the Gator deficit to two at 11-9 with 4:38 remaining, but North Carolina held the Gators scoreless for the remainder of the game to secure the victory.

Records

No. 16 Florida (3-5, 0-0)
No. 3 North Carolina (7-1, 1-0)

O’Leary’s Insight

  • “This team is fantastic. UNC came out and put us on our heels a little bit, but we responded in the second half. We gutted out some big plays and I was really proud of how they came out and fought back. “

 

Notables 

  • Shannon Kavanagh recorded her fourth hat trick of the season
  • Lindsey Ronbeck currently sits at 187 career goals, trying to become just the third Gator to reach 200 goals
    • Ronbeck has potential to be the second-fastest Gator to reach the 200-goal mark. Shannon Gilroy did it in 67 games, while Kitty Cullen did it in 78 games. Ronbeck has currently played 66 games in a Gator uniform
  • Shannon Kavanagh recorded four points against the Tar Heels, moving her to 90 in her career
    • She is on track to become the 16th Gator to score at least 100 points in a career and she would be the sixth one to do so in her sophomore season
  • Streaking: Haley Hicklen has recorded a save in 34-straight games, the second-best mark in program history.
  • Streaking: Lindsey Ronbeck has also scored at least one goal in 19-straight games.
  • Streaking: Two Gators inched closer to the record for most consecutive games with a draw control (27): Sabrina Cristodero (21), Shannon Kavanagh (20)

 

Up Next

  • The Gators return to Donald R. Dizney Stadium on Tuesday to take on the Princeton Tigers
  • Opening draw is set for 7 p.m. with Ryan Urquhart and Annie Collins on the call

 

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