The Florida Gators lacrosse players defeat #5 Virginia 13-8

Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Ashley Gonzalez's goal with 29 seconds left in the third quarter proved to be the deciding factor as the Florida lacrosse team (19-2, 6-0 AAC) defeated fifth-seeded Virginia (15-5, 6th). -0). 3 ACC) with a score of 13-8 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon. The Gators advance to their eighth quarterfinal and first since 2022.

With the score tied 7-7 in the third quarter, Gonzalez's goal sparked a 6-0 run by the Gators in a span of 11:57, giving UF its largest lead of the game by six goals. Florida outscored the Cavaliers 5-1 in the fourth quarter and never trailed in the contest.

It was a complete team effort as the Gators were led offensively by the trio of Gonzalez (three goals, two assists), Danielle Pavinelli (four goals, one assist) and Maggi Hall (two goals, three assists), who combined for 15 of their team's 22 Points. Sarah Falk had her eighth multi-goal game of the season, scoring both opportunities from free positions. Madison Waters and Paisley Eagan each scored a goal, with Eagan contributing an assist.

Florida dominated the draw today, controlling the contest with a 19-6 lead over the Cavaliers. Liz Harrison secured her 13th double-digit draw control game of the season and won 11 on the afternoon. Elyse Finnelle secured her eighth straight win in the cage by making six saves and taking four ground balls off a team.

The defense forced difficult shots throughout the game as the Cavaliers only managed 14 of their 22 shots on goal today (.636 percent), keeping Virginia below their .706 shooting average this season. Florida made 24 of its 26 shots (0.923 percent) on goal in this game.

How it happened

* Harrison won the first draw control of the game and the Gators struck first at 2 p.m. A patient and fierce first possession ended with a Hall dime to Pavinelli, who finished just around the cage to make it 1-0.
* After a save from Finnelle, the Gators' second goal was similar to the first, as Hall found a cutting Gonzalez in front of the net to give Florida a 2-0 lead with 12:15 left.
* The Cavaliers got on the board at 9:12, but the Gators answered 64 seconds later. This time, Pavinelli threw the ball to Gonzalez near the cage, who buried it in the back of the net. Florida led 3-1.
* A Virginia goal at 4:34 was quickly offset by the Gators with a 2-0 run to end the quarter. Falk took advantage of a chance from eight meters with 3:57 minutes left, which was followed 48 seconds later by a goal from Pavinelli, which was set up by Eagan. This was Pavinelli's 50th goal of the season and the 200th of her career. Florida received two yellow cards 3:09 into the final to give Virginia a two-player lead heading into the second round. UF led 5-2.
Second quarter

* The Cavaliers had a two-way lead 23 seconds into the quarter. Florida responded as the Gators ran a perfect fast break led by Monaco feeding Hall for the score. Florida led 6-3 with 9:28 left.
* Two Virginia goals, one from free position, made the game 6-5 with 6:47 remaining in the half. Waters scored a much-needed goal with 3:41 left, dodging from the right wing to center and placing it in the back of the cage. Florida maintained its two-goal lead.
* A player-up score by the Cavaliers with 2:01 remaining ended the halftime scoring. UF took a 7-6 halftime lead.
Third quarter

* Only two goals were scored in a difficult third quarter that featured 11 total turnovers (five by UF, six by Virginia) as the teams tied 1-1.
* The Cavaliers tied the game at seven with 10:44 left in the third period. The game then remained tied 10:15 before Hall made a pass from the top right down to Gonzalez, who scored the equalizer with 29 seconds left. Florida took an 8-7 lead in the fourth period.
Fourth quarter

* The fourth quarter was all for the Gators as they outscored the Cavaliers 5-1 in the frame.
* Kaitlyn Davies won the first draw of the quarter, which led to Falk creating shooting space and converting on her second eight-meter goal of the game. Florida extended its lead back to two with 13:39 left.
* It took just over five minutes for the Gators to score two goals in a span of 1:57, as Gonzalez was the scorer on both goals. She found Pavinelli first, followed by a pass to Eagan just in front of the cage to increase the lead to four with 6:32 remaining.
* At the 5:10 mark, Florida scored two more points in a span of 1:38, putting the icing on the cake. Monaco found Hall near the cage for the first goal, followed by Pavinelli who made his way to the cage for their fourth goal of the game. That ended a 6-0 run by the Gators in a span of 11:57, giving them a 13-7 lead.
* A late goal from the Cavaliers wasn't enough as the Gators secured the 13-8 win to advance to their eighth quarterfinal appearance in program history.
Important Notes

* The Gators are 1-0 all-time against the Cavaliers
* Pavinelli's second goal of the first quarter was her 200th career goal. She is just the fifth player in program history to reach this milestone
* The Gators are 15-12 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 8-5 in the second round
* Pavinelli had her tenth hat trick of the season and Gonzalez had her fifth
* Florida is one of two unseeded teams in this tournament (Michigan) that made it to the quarterfinals
* The Gators have won 19 consecutive games and tied 19, a program record set in 2012
* UF won the assists battle by a 9-3 margin
* Florida has now held its opponents to fewer than 10 goals 16 times this season
* There were a total of 36 fouls (22 by Virginia and 14 by Florida) and eight cards (three green and five yellow) in this game.
Season/career highs
Elyse Finnelle – tied for career ground balls with four

Active streaks (eight games or better)

* Maggi Hall< points (40)
* Liz Harrison< Draw Controls (22)
* Danielle Pavinelli< Points (20)
* Ashley Gonzalez< points (19)
*Elyse Finnelle< saves (13)
* Emily Heller: Character Controls (9)
* Paisley Eagan: Character Controls (9)
Florida (19-2, 6-0 AAC) travels to College Park, Maryland, to face the fourth-seeded Maryland Terrapins (14-5, 4-2 Big Ten) in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Anna Harden

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