March 15, 2011

Red-Hot Gators Avenge Loss to Colgate

from press release

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The newly-minted No. 10 Florida lacrosse team, led by four Gator hat tricks, avenged last year’s overtime loss at Colgate by overpowering the Raiders, 18-6, on Tuesday evening at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Florida was led by sophomore midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.), who recorded a career-high in both goals and points, with five and six, respectively.

The Gators outmatched the Raiders in every statistical category, as Florida outshot Colgate, 37-13, while also going 3-for-3 on free position shots.

Florida had many multi-goal scorers, as sophomore midfielder Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) contributed four goals, and sophomore attackers Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) and Janine Hillier (Farmingdale, N.Y.) scored three goals apiece. The Gators also saw goals from sophomore midfielder Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.), sophomore midfielder Colby Rhea (Abingdon, Md.), and the first-career score for freshman midfielder Kelsey Dlugos (Commack, N.Y.). Junior attacker Caroline Cochran (Annapolis, Md.) led the team with two assists while sophomore midfielders Haydon Judge (Chestertown, Md.) and Jamie Reeg (Atlantis, Fla.) each assisted on Gator scores.

“I thought the team played very, very well, offensively, defensively and across the board” Florida head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “I thought Brittany Dashiell had an incredible game. She put a lot of goals on the board and she also picked up their best player and played her on the crease really, really well. All in all, I’m really pleased to come out of here with a win.”

Colgate drew first blood, as the Raiders’ Courtney Miller scored just seven minutes into the contest. Florida then went on a four-goal tear, sparked by Cullen’s first goal of the evening, barely a minute after Miller’s score. Hillier found the back of the net four minutes later thanks to a feed from behind the net from Dashiell. Cullen cut through the Colgate defense, despite being double-teamed and face-guarded, to score again nearly halfway through the first stanza. Dashiell scored less than a minute later to put the Gators ahead, 4-1.

One of Colgate’s leading scorers, Colleen Bubnack, scored her lone goal of the evening with 14:38 remaining in the half, and was held to only two shots the entire game. Dashiell answered once again, this time finding a great Cochran pass to score before Miller found the back of the net a second time, pulling within two, 5-3. Dashiell had another answer, sparking a six-goal run that extended into the second half, as Florida took the momentum into halftime, leading 7-3. The Gators used free position goals from Bruns and Cullen to close the first half and start the second, as Bruns was able to score with only 20 seconds remaining in the first half. Cullen had her chance just a few minutes later, as she used her speed to her advantage, outsprinting her defenders and finding the back of the net just a little over two minutes into the second stanza.

The Gators then had two scores in 14 seconds, as Dashiell found the net unassisted before Reeg notched her second assist of the season, a great look inside the eight-meter for Chesterman. Rhea scored a little over a minute later, thanks to a fantastic midfield pass from sophomore midfielder Kayla Stolins, who saw the opportunity for Rhea to speed past her defenders and score.

Florida then went on another six-goal run, thanks to Haydon Judge’s perfect feed to Cullen to put the Gators ahead, 12-4. Bruns found the back of the net twice in the run, with her scores bookended by two Hillier goals. Dashiell scored her career-high fifth goal and sixth point off a feed in front of the goal from Cochran to give the Gators their largest lead of the evening with 13 goals. Colgate scored back-to-back in a last-ditch effort to penetrate the Florida defense but with 28 seconds remaining in the contest, Dlugos scored off a free position shot to notch her first goal as a Gator.

“We knew going into tonight that our defense needed to play a great game,” O’Leary said. “They are a high-scoring offense and I think we did a great job. They were solid on 1-v-1 opportunities and constantly double-teamed them. I’m very pleased with our defensive effort and Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) made some great saves for us.”

The Gators now look to take on No. 11 Syracuse in their second televised match of the season. Opening draw at Dizney Stadium is at 1:00 p.m. The Orange are 1-3 on the season and made a huge NCAA Tournament run last season before falling to the eventual National Champion Maryland Terrapins. Saturday’s game will be televised on Sun Sports with Bernie Guenther and Jenny Ulehla on the call. Fans can also listen in on with Andrew Suarez and Mike Gillespie calling the action.

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