Gainesville, Fla.- Senior
attack Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) and
sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.)
each scored three goals apiece helping No. 3 Florida Lacrosse to a
13-7 win over High Point on Sunday. The Gators improve to 3-0 for
the first time in program history, marking the best start since the
inaugural 2010 season. In 2010, UF went 2-0 before losing to North
Carolina in the third game of the season.
The Gators (3-0) held a narrow 6-3 lead at halftime but seven
goals in the second half made the difference, as the Panthers (1-1)
couldn’t overcome the onslaught of goals in the final period.
Overall, the Gators took 32 shots on the afternoon and recorded 16
draw controls, 25 ground balls and nine saves.
“There were a lot of bright spots to the day, we saw a
lot of players get in there and play very, very well and play very
hard,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said.
“There are definitely some things we need to work on, but
overall to come into a tough environment I thought we did a very,
very good job.”
High Point scored first in the contest, less than two minute
into the game, off a goal by attacker Kendyl Gardner. The
Gators followed up with back-to-back goals from senior
attack Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) and Gilroy to give
Florida a 2-1 lead. Chesterman added her first goal of the season
to make it 3-1. The Panthers kept the Gators close in the first
half as they cut the lead to 3-2 off a Grace Gaeng goal with 17:45
Cullen and senior midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel
Air, Md.) chipped in back-to-back goals to put the Orange and Blue
up 5-2 followed by a High Point goal from Alec Perry sophomore
midfielder Nicole Graziano(Mendham, N.J.) found the back of
the net for the first time this season off a free position shot
with 5:32 to play before the break.
O’Leary said at the half she encouraged her team to focus on
the game plan set by assistant coach Erica LaGrow and the
Gators came out ready in the second half, responding with seven
consecutive goals in the final period.
“I think Erica put together a great game plan and I thought
we were straying away from that in the first half. In the second
half, we started to see where the openings were, taking advantage
of it and putting the ball in the back of the net when we needed
to,” O’Leary said.
The Gators came out firing, scoring their seven goals of the
second half in succession after a High Point took the first goal of
the half. Chesterman and Gilroy found the goal unassisted to start
things off while senior attack Ashley Bruns (Ellicot
City, Md.) found Chesterman open for her third goal of the game.
Bruns followed up with a goal of her own at the 20:53 mark while
Gilroy and Graziano found the back of the net for the first time
this season. Freshman midfielder Sam
Darcangelo (Freeland, Md.) scored her first goal to wrap up
the Gators scoring on the afternoon with 8;38 to play.
Many newcomers saw action in the game including freshman
goalie Mary Sean Wilcox (Lutherville, Md.). Wilcox
spent the final 7:56 of the game in the goal and recorded four
saves and allowed three goals.
“I thought Mary Sean did a really good job coming in for
Mikey (Meagher) and saw some shots and really made some huge
saves,” O’Leary said.
Bruns and Dashiell led the Gators with four ground balls each
on the afternoon while Gilroy picked up seven draw controls, as
part of UF’s dominance on draw controls in the game. In the
second half, the Orange and Blue recorded five straight draw
control to start the half while beating out the Panthers 16-6 in
the contest. Dashiell also led the Gators with two assists
while sophomore midfielder Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.),
senior attack Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and Bruns
all chipped in one each.
“We got three straight wins against three great
opponents in UNC, Jacksonville and High Point and we did it in some
weather conditions today that weren’t ideal but we have
persevered and stuck with the game plan,” O’Leary said
“But we are certainly ready to be back home and play in front
of our home crowd for the next three games in five
The Gators are back in action on Wednesday for their home
opener that opens a three-game homestand as they host No 18/19
Stony Brook with a 3:30 p.m. opening draw at Donald R. Dizney