The University of Colorado lacrosse team battled hard against the fifth-ranked Gators, but Florida scored six consecutive goals in the second half to down the No. 17 Buffs by a final score of 16-9 on Sunday afternoon in Gainseville, Fla..
Florida came out on the offensive, scoring the game’s first goal 37 seconds into the contest, but the Buffs settled in and Carly Cox tied the game up 1-1 with a tip-in goal at the 25:29 mark of the first half. The teams went back and forth early in the first half, with Sophia Castillo evening the score at 5-5 with 16:39 remaining in the first half. Florida ended the half with three unanswered goals to take an 8-5 halftime lead.
CU won the opening half draw to start the second half, but the Gators quickly pressured CU into a turnover and retook possession. A pair of saves from Sophia Gambitsky in the first two minutes of the second half helped the Buffs weather Florida’s initial attack. Then at the 22:27 mark, Cox put CU on the board first in the second half, drawing the score to 8-6, but Florida answered back just 14 seconds later to retake a three-goal lead.
The Buffs brought the score back within two on a free-position goal from Samantha Nemirov. Kelsie Garrison forced a Florida turnover on the ensuing possession and freshman Devon Bayer capitalized on a free-position attempt to bring the score to 9-8 with 18:21 remaining in the game, but that was the closest the game would get.
Florida responded with a pair of quick goals to extend its lead to 11-8 with 15:29 to play. Then five minutes later, Madi Hall and Lindsey Ronbeck scored within a minutes of each other again to stretch the Gators’ lead to 13-8. Darby Kiernan was issued a yellow card on the ensuing draw control, and Florida scored again to take a six-goal lead with 9:53 to play.
Down six, Colorado called timeout and came out re-energized, but it was too late. Florida scored again before another goal from Bayer stopped the Gators’ run with 5:46 to play in the game. The game was a defensive stalemate in the final five minutes, with the Gators scoring in the final minute to win by a final score of 16-9.
Colorado outshot Florida by a final tally of 34-28, but Florida goalie Hayley Hicklen stifled the Buffs’, recording a career-high 14 saves.
The Buffs will complete their three-game road trip on Thursday as the face Northwestern at 2 p.m. in Evanston, Ill.
Florida 16, Colorado 9
Colorado (1-1) 5 4 — 9
Florida (1-0) 8 8 — 16
Goals — CU:Cox (2); Nemirov (2); Bayer (2); Castillo, (1); Stinson (1); Kiernan (1); Florida: Ronbeck (3); Hall (3); Benitez (2); Pirreca (2); Bresnahan (2); Haus (2); Kavanagh (1); Pirreca(1).
Assists — Florida: Ronbeck (2); Bresnahn (1); Benitez (1); Haus (1); Shoop (1).
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — CU: Gambitsky (60-16-7); Florida: Hicklen (60-9-14).