No. 3 Florida Pulls Away Late to Defeat High Point

Meagher earned her third win of the season with five saves, including four in the second half. Mary-Sean Wilcox played the last 7:56 and made four saves.

Ground balls were even, 25-25, in the game but the Gators dominated draws, 16-6. The Panthers went a perfect 10 for 10 on clear attempts while Florida went 11 for 14.

The Panthers hit the road for the next four games. HPU starts the road trip with a game at Navy next Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Last year. High Point topped Navy, 11-10 last year at Vert Stadium.

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HIGH POINT, N.C. – 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 to play.

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.

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