Gators dominate Jacksonville for second consecutive win

Junior midfielder Allie Pavinelli intercepted a pass.

In her first caused turnover of the season, Pavinelli corralled the ball into the net of her stick and turned upfield. She noticed sophomore attacker Lindsey Ronbeck open and threw the long pass to her Gators teammate.

The unguarded Ronbeck stood in front of the net, turned around and shot the ball between the legs of Jacksonville goalkeeper Mariah Cudlipp.

Ronbeck, who had yet to record a goal this season, had scored her third of the game.

It was this chemistry among players that led to No. 3 Florida’s (2-1) 21-14 win over Jacksonville (0-3) on Monday night at D.B. Milne Field.

“Jacksonville played a very good game,” UF coach Amanda O’Leary said in a release. “They pushed us at both ends of the field. Credit them for a hard-fought game.”

Florida got started early with back-to-back goals two minutes apart by junior attacker Shayna Pirreca.

Once the Gators got the lead, they never gave it up.

Two Ronbeck goals at the end of the first half, including the one from the Pavinelli pass, put Florida’s first-half goal total at 12, a season best. The Gators also held JU to five goals.

Ronbeck led all Gators going into halftime with three goals, but she was just one of many scorers for Florida.

Senior attacker Sammi Burgess finished the game with four goals, while senior attacker Mollie Stevens and Pirreca tacked on three of their own.

Florida was also able to work the ball around on offense, with six Gators recording an assist and four Gators getting off at least four shots.

On defense, the Gators forced 10 turnovers and limited the Dolphins to 30 shots, 23 of which were on goal. In comparison, Florida had 40 shots with 33 of them on goal.And on faceoffs, Florida dominated, winning 24 draw controls to JU’s 13. Stevens’ 11 draw controls are a UF single-game record.“We did a better job in the draw circle and competing for those 50/50 ground balls,” O’Leary said.This was also the first game where Florida was able to give all three of its goalies playing time.Sophomore Haley Hicklen started the game, saving six shots while letting up 10 goals. After 48 minutes, O’Leary put in junior Olivia Cole, who recorded a save, but let up three goals.To close out the game, freshman Kenzii Kittell got her first taste of action, making two saves while letting up one goal.“It was great to see all of our goalies get playing time,” O’Leary said.The Gators will travel to Maryland this weekend for a two game road stretch. The first is against No. 17 Towson on Sunday and the second against Loyola on March 8. Contact Jake Dreilinger at jdreilinger@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @DreilingerJake .