Florida’s lacrosse team hosts Colorado State on Sunday, and it enters the 2018 season with high expectations. The Gators are ranked 5th in the coaches poll and in the Inside Lacrosse Poll. They were also unanimously picked to win the Big East Title for the fourth year in a row. Sunday’s game will be the Gators first time playing the 17th ranked Colorado State Buffalos.
Florida’s head lacrosse coach, Amanda O’Leary, has had great success at Florida with an 81-21 win record. And back in January, Amanda O’Leary received the Tewaaraton Legends Award for her collegiate career at Temple.
To start the season, the schedule does not look to be forgiving for the Gators. In their first three matchups, the Gators are playing against ranked opponents. O’Leary said that she tries to make a tough out-of-conference schedule every year.
The Gators not only are playing No. 17 Colorado State this weekend, but the following Saturday, Florida will be taking on No. 1 Maryland before playing No. 25 Loyola the following day.
Amanda O’Leary also said that the Big East has gotten better recently. However, next season the team will no longer be in Big East because the Gators are moving to the American Athletic Conference.
Players to Watch
Six Gators are on the Preseason All-Big East Team. Those included are: seniors Allie Pavinelli and Shayna Pirreca; juniors Haley Hicklen, Lindsey Ronbeck, and Sydney Pirreca; and sophomore Cara Trombetta.
In preseason awards, junior goalkeeper, Haley Hicklen, earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. O’Leary says that the team is fortunate to play with a goal keeper with such athleticism.
Junior attacker, Lindsey Ronbeck, also earned Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Florida’s season opener against Colorado State will be Sunday at 12 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.