Gator lacrosse team earns their ninth straight conference championship after edging James Madison, 9-8; earns sixth seed in NCAA tourney

Danielle Pavinelli with a hat trick in the championship victory
Gators 9 JMU 8
Gators 9 JMU 8(WCJB)
Published: May. 6, 2023 at 9:56 PM EDT
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PHILADELPHIA, PA. (WCJB) - The Florida lacrosse team is ready to return the favor to James Madison and takes home some hardware. Thanks to some 4th period heroics, the Gators (16-3) clinch their 10th American Athletic Conference championship in a 9-8 win. Florida has won their last 11 games while snapping the Dukes (17-2) 17-game win streak.

Florida starts off the game with back-to-back goals by Madison Waters and Danielle Pavinelli to take a early 2-0 lead. James Madison ties it at 2 including Isabella Peterson who holds the school record with 78 goals. Late in the second period, JMU takes a 6-4 lead, but with 17 seconds remaining in the half. Pavinelli finds Maggi Hall for a huge goal to keep JMU’s lead at 1 into the half.

In the third period, Pavinelli puts the Gators back on top, 7-6. Pavinelli finishes the day with her fourth hat trick of the year. Peterson and Lizzy Fox rallies for the Dukes for a 8-7 lead into the fourth period.

However, the fourth period has been good to the Gator lacrosse team. Emma LoPinto sprints from behind the cage to fire the game-tying goal and knot it up at 8. The sophomore leads the team with 56 goals. Hall fires her finest pass of the season to Madison Waters in a dead sprint to the net to score the game-winning goal.

Goalkeeper Sarah Reznick frustrates the Dukes for the final minutes of the game as she ends the afternoon with 10 saves. She is the all-time leader in career saves with 567. Reznick also records a save in her last 70 games, it is another shattering stat in program history. Reznick was named the 2023 Most Outstanding Player.

Gator lacrosse team hosts First and Second round of the NCAA Tournament

The Gators hold the sixth seed and hosts Jacksonville (12-7) on Friday May 12th at 4pm. Mercer and Notre Dame follows at 7pm at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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