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Game Day - Gators #16 Florida (11) vs #17 Stony Brook (10)

IN SEASON

2019 NCAA Women's Lacrosse

#16 Florida (11) vs #17 Stony Brook (10)

March 23, 2019

Article and Photos by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

Digital Media Sports by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

March 23, 2019 - LaValle Stadium - #17 Stony Brook took on #16 University of Florida ("Florida") in a hard fought game between two talented teams. Both the Gators and Seawolves lost close games against top ranked opponents coming into Saturday's matchup and left everything out on the field as they head into conference play for their seasons.

After being tied 4-4 at halftime, Stony Brook came up short by a goal and lost to Florida 11-10. The game was a physical battle all over the field and low scoring for two high-powered offenses - demonstrating that both teams could make a run in post season play to contend for a national championship.

Stony Brook Seawolves
Florida Gators

Stony Brook - Attack

Stony Brook led a balanced attack with seven players scoring on the day. Taryn Ohlmiller, Keri McCarthy and Siobhan Rafferty led the team with two goals each. With Stony Brook's top attackers closely marked, Jesse Arline came off the bench to lead the Seawolves with three points (2 goals, 1 assist). Midway through the first half, Taryn Ohlmiller appeared to reinjure her right knee, but returned to play and scored two goals in the last ten minutes of the game - a valiant comeback that ultimately fell short by a goal.

Stony Brook Attack: Siobhan Rafferty, Taryn Ohlmiller, Keri McCarthy, Jesse Arline

Florida - Attack

Florida's attack was led by Shannon Kavanagh who scored five goals for the day and pulled down six draw controls. Many of the Gators are Long Island natives and felt at home on a cold, windy day where the sun finally broke out midway through the second half as Florida pulled ahead 10-8 on a two goal run by Kavanagh.

Shannon Kavanagh led Florida attack with 5 goals

Lindsey Ronbeck was held to scoring two goals on free positions off eight shots - credit to Stony Brook's zone defense collapsing on Florida's leading scorer.

Lindsey Ronbeck (Florida)

Physical Game

Both teams gave it everything they had - fighting for every draw, going after every ground ball and doing whatever it took to stop their opponent from driving to goal. The result was a very physical game with off ball contact, players on the ground, goggles flying and yellow cards in the second half for dangerous checks.

Battle in the Midfield

Sydney Pirreca (Florida) and Sabrina Tabasso (Stony Brook) battled it out in the midfield for every ball and led their teams from the point position on attack - adding a goal and assist for their teams.

Sabrina Tabasso vs Sydney Pirreca

With the game tied 8-8 in the second half, both teams put on full field pressure - riding the ball immediately upon losing possession. While Stony Brook managed to successfully clear 100% of their balls into the attack zone (21-21), Florida didn't make it through the midfield on four clears (16-20).

Lindsey Ronbeck (Florida) goes after ground ball

The Draw

Shannon Kavanagh draws against Kasey Mitchell

The draw was a battle to control every ball - Florida edged out Stony Brook winning 13 of 23 draws with Shannon Kavanagh pulling down six for the Gators.

Shannon Kavanagh (Florida) wins draw control

Both Stony Brook and Florida varied up draw specialists in the center circle - Kasey Mitchell (Stony Brook) and Brianna Harris (Florida). For the Seawolves, Ally Kennedy (4) and Sabrina Tabasso (3) were key on draw controls recording seven combined.

Ally Kennedy led Stony Brook with 4 draw controls

Florida - Defense

One of the key differentiators in the game was Florida's Goalie, Haley Hicklen, who made 15 saves on the day. Not afraid to come out of the cage, Hicklen battled the Stony Brook attack for loose balls and came up with 11 stops in the second half to lead her team to victory.

Haley Hicklen (Florida - Goalie)

The Florida defense worked with Hicklen to hold an explosive Stony Brook attack to only ten goals for the day. Cara Trombetta marked Stony Brook's top attackers causing three turnovers and grabbing four ground balls. Florida's other top defenders: Sabrina Cristodero, Emma Wightman and Annie Gillis put relentless pressure on Stony Brook.

One Last Goal

Stony Brook went on a three-goal run midway through the second half to tie the game up at 8-8, but Florida's Shannon Kavanagh answered with two goals of her own to take the lead 10-8.

Shannon Kavanagh (Florida) scores goal

Taryn Ohlmiller fought to find the back of the net for the Seawolves and put the game within a goal, but Florida's leading scorer, Sydney Pirreca, came though on a free position to put the game out of reach at 11-9.

Sydney Pirreca (Florida)

Keri McCarthy scored her second goal of the day with 1:22 left on the clock to pull within a goal, but it wasn't enough for the Seawolves who fought to the very end - scrambling in the midfield to regain possession of the ball and give Taryn Ohlmiller a final chance to score. But Florida's Goalie, Haley Hicklen, came up with the save and the Gators move on with a win.

Keri McCarthy fights for ball midfield to give Stony Brook one last chance to score

Next Up

Florida returns home where they will have a quick turnaround before facing Brown on Tuesday. A trap game that warrants caution after Brown defeated #9 Princeton this weekend 12-11. The Ivy League contest will be the last game outside of conference play for the Gators as they move on to the American Athletic Conference.

For the Seawolves, they will kick off their conference next Saturday against UMass Lowell and Albany the following week. The only out of conference game still left on Stony Brook's schedule is USC in April. Hopefully, Spring will have arrived on the East coast in time for the California squad to make the trip to Long Island for what should be a great game.

Digital Media Sports by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

Article and Photos by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

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