GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 17th-ranked Gators moved to 2-0 in the AAC after topping Vanderbilt, 18-9, on Saturday afternoon at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Florida is 2-0 in conference play for the eighth time in program history and the sixth-straight season.
Florida’s offense was led by Sydney Pirreca, who posted four goals on the day, a season-best mark for her. Four other Gators recorded hat trick as well: Lindsey Ronbeck, Grace Haus, Shannon Kavanagh and Brianna Harris.
UF won 15-of-27 draws, including a season-best nine from Kavanagh.
The Gators caused nine turnovers, led by two from Cara Trombetta. Florida held Vanderbilt to 9-of-23 shooting (.391) on the day.
With her first caused turnover of the game, Trombetta became Florida’s all-time program leader, surpassing Caroline Fitzgerald’s record of 87.
Caroline May did an outstanding defensive job against Vanderbilt’s leading scorer, Sophie Furlong, holding her to zero points. Sabrina Cristodero also put up a great defensive showing, keeping Emily Mathewson to 0-of-1 shooting.
Haley Hicklen recorded eight saves on the day, registering a .500 saves percentage against the Commodores.
How it Happened
Sydney Pirreca got the Gators on the board early, scoring on an unassisted goal just 32 seconds in the frame. Brianna Harris followed with a free-position conversion, then Pirreca notched her second goal of the day to put the Gators up 3-0 at the 26:50 mark.
Pirreca continued to roll in the first half, coming up with back-to-back goals to put the Gators up 5-0 with just over 22 remaining in the half.
Vanderbilt answered with a 2-0 run to cut Florida’s lead three, but the Gators got two goals from Caroline Benitez and Shannon
Kavanagh to take back the five-goal lead back at 7-2.
Kavanagh, Brianna Harris and Lindsey Ronbeck combined for the next three goals over a 55-second span, taking a 10-2 lead with just over 12 minutes left in the first half. Kavanagh pitched in her third goal of the day to give Florida the 11-3 lead and to give her her ninth hat trick of the season.
Grace Haus extended Florida’s lead to 10 after notching two consecutive goals, giving the Gators the 13-3 lead going into the locker room.
Harris picked up her first hat trick of the season, scoring just 1:40 into the second half to put Florida up 14-3. Vanderbilt cut the lead back to 10 goals at the 23:59 mark, but Haus extended the lead back to 11 with her fourth hat trick this year.
The Commodores scored back-to-back goals to cut the lead to nine at 15-6, but Ronbeck notched two consecutive goals to put Florida up 17-6. With that goal, she surpassed Kitty Cullen to take sole possession of the second-most goals in Florida program history (204).
Vanderbilt answered, cutting it back to 10 with 17 remaining in the game, but Kassidy Bresnahan added her name to the scoring column, putting the Gators up 18-7 with 5:30 remaining. The Commodores added two more goals before the final horn, but Florida was able to come away with the 18-9 win to move to 2-0 in the AAC.
No. 17 Florida (7-6, 2-0 AAC)
Vanderbilt (9-3, 1-1 AAC)
On defensive effort
- “Sabrina did a great job on Emily Mathewson. We had certain matchups we wanted to establish from the start. When we got switched off of Furlong, our entire defense really stepped up.”
- Five Gators recorded hat tricks on the day – Sydney Pirreca (3rd), Shannon Kavanagh (9th), Brianna Harris(1st), Grace Haus (4th), Lindsey Ronbeck (10th)
- The Gators opened conference play with a 2-0 record for the eighth time in program history and sixth-straight year
- Cara Trombetta became Florida’s all-time program leader in caused turnovers (88), surpassing Caroline Fitzgerald’s previous record of 87
- Lindsey Ronbeck moved into second place in Florida’s all-time program history in goals scored, surpassing Kitty Cullen’s mark of 203
- Against Temple she became the third Gator to reach the 200 career goal milestone
- She is the second-fastest Gator to reach the 200-goal mark, doing so in 70 games. Shannon Gilroy was the fastest Gator to hit 200 goals, doing so in 70 games
- Streaking: Haley Hicklen has recorded a save in 39-straight games, the second-best mark in program history.
- Streaking: Lindsey Ronbeck has also scored at least one goal in 24-straight games, the third-best mark in program history
- Streaking: Sabrina Cristodero tied Florida’s streak for consecutive games with a draw control, recording one in 27-straight games. Shannon Kavanagh is just one behind, recording a draw control in 26-straight games