Florida's Lindsey Ronbeck drives around a defender during a lacrosse match against Georgetown at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium, in Gainesville. The Gators beat the Hoyas 15-3 and won the Big East Conference Championship for the third straight year.

No. 2 Gators cruise to Big East tournament finals

Special to The Sun
Thursday, May 04, 2017 9:21 PM

VILLANOVA, Pa. - For the third year in a row, the Florida lacrosse team will play in the Big East Tournament Championship game.

The Gators (16-2) routed fourth-seeded Temple (13-5) in the first semifinal Thursday, 21-9.

Florida, will meet the winner of the second semifinal (Georgetown-Denver) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for tourney trophy, scored 14 goals in the first half, the most goals ever in a single half in a Big East Tournament game.

"It's a great feeling to be headed to the championship game,” UF coach Amanda O'Leary said. "They (Gators) continued to play hard throughout the game, and matched Temple's enthusiasm coming out of the second half. Competing for the chance to win a championship is what being a Gator is all about."

Florida went on a 14-1 run over the course of 25 minutes of game time between the first and second halves to effectively put the game out of reach. Prior to that Gator run, Temple had scored back-to-back goals, and narrowed the Florida lead to just 6-4.

Mollie Stevens led the Gators offensively, netting five goals on six shots, winning three draw controls, while collecting a ground ball and causing one turnover. Sammi Burgess (four assists) and Lindsey Ronbeck (four goals) added four points to round out the Florida attack. Burgess' four assists tied her career-high and the program record for assists in a game.

Florida's starting line of midfielders all made steady contributions to the win, as Brianna Harris, Allie Pavinelli, and Sydney Pirreca all recorded two goals and an assist. Harris also tied for the team lead with three draw controls.

Florida's starting line of midfielders all made steady contributions to the win, as Brianna Harris, Allie Pavinelli, and Sydney Pirreca all recorded two goals and an assist. Harris also tied for the team lead with three draw controls.

The Gator defense limited Temple to just 17 shot attempts, and forced the Owls into 19 turnovers. Big East Defender of the Year Caroline Fitzgerald paced the Gators, causing three turnovers, scooping three ground balls, and winning three draw controls. Freshman Cara Trombetta and sophomore Caroline Benitez each caused two turnovers and recovered two ground balls in the Florida win.




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