Gators Record First NCAA Lacrosse Win

No. 4 seed Florida wasted no time in recording the program's first NCAA Tournament win. In its second season as a program, the Gators beat Stanford 13-11 on Saturday at Dizney Stadium, winning the first postseason game ever hosted in the state of Florida.

"We were just really excited, obviously," Florida head coach Amanda O'Leary said. "It's such a new program to make it to the Elite 8, I'm just really proud of our team, of our coaching staff, of our support staff. It was a great job by Stanford. They came out and did a great job defensively against us. Offensively they put a lot of goals in the back of the net and all the credit in the world to Stanford. They did a fantastic job."

It didn't always look optimistic. The game was schedule to start at 1 p.m. but suffered through hours of rain delays before finally starting. The Gators didn't show any signs of rust.

Instead, they got out to a fast start, taking a 4-0 lead only 5:34 into the game. Brittany Dashiell scored 24 seconds into the game before Kitty Cullen scored the next three goals to secure her hat trick before playing even six minutes into the game.

Dashiel finished with five points (three goals and two assists). Janine Hillier and Cullen ended with four goals each.

"We work so hard in the offseason and in the summer," Cullen said. "It's so nice seeing that this year is really paying off. Everything we've been doing, waking up on Fridays at 6:00a.m. running Gator Mountains, everything is paying off this season. It's just showing how hard work really pays off."

Dashiell scored with 13 seconds left in the first half to give the Gators a 5-4 lead at the intermission.

After not winning a second half in the last five games, Florida used a strong performance to put the game away. The Gators took a 13-11 lead with 10:15 remaining and chose to stall to secure the win. Goalkeeper Mikey Meagher made eight second half saves to key a tough defensive effort.

With 4:43 left and a two-goal lead, the Gators stalled perfectly while drawing five Stanford fouls and a yellow card. Florida didn't lose possession while securing the win.

"To finish the game with the ball in our stick and be able to control the momentum at that point, I think was critical," O'Leary said.

The Gators now await their opponent for next Saturday's matchup that will happen at 3 p.m. Florida will host either No. 5 Duke or Penn, and those two faceoff Sunday at 2 p.m.

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