Coming off a statement victory, the Florida Gators face their toughest test to date: No. 1-ranked Maryland. This will be the toughest test for the Gators in only the second week of the season, but have momentum after a 16-9 victory on Sunday.
— Gators Lacrosse (@GatorsLAX) February 14, 2018
For Florida, they would shine in many categories against Colorado. The team will focus on two key components for Saturday: the draw and ball control.
” They have a seasoned veteran in that draw circle,” said lacrosse head coach Amanda O’Leary. “I think possession is going to be critical, and we had quite a few unforced turnovers last week.”
While the Gators would turn the ball over more times than Colorado with 17, they look to make the adjustments needed to come out victorious against the Terrapins.
“Cleaning up those little details of those turnovers will make a huge difference,” said Coach O’Leary. “I think the goalie play is going to be huge.”
— Gators Lacrosse (@GatorsLAX) February 13, 2018
In last week’s season debut, junior goalkeeper Haley Hicklen would set a career-high 14 stops in the victory over Colorado. She will be a key for O’Leary and the Gators in this highly-touted match between two top-five teams.
Thoughts on Hosting Maryland
The team is looking forward to facing their biggest test to date in Maryland. One big factor going into this showdown is the rivalry factor.
“This has been an ongoing rivalry for us,” said Coach O’Leary. “We’re just looking forward to stepping on the field with the No. 1-ranked team.”
With a battle of this magnitude, the excitement is spreading from the coaches to the players. The team is not looking past Maryland, but they are looking at the possible results of a victory over No. 1.
“I think it’s big if we come out with the victory on Saturday,” freshman Shannon Kavanagh said. “I think if we pull out the win it would be huge for our team.”
With the excitement of this top-five matchup on Saturday, it will be one that you surely can’t miss. Two teams coming off of statement victories, one will feel the heartbreak of defeat, and the other will continue to ride the undefeated wave of momentum.
The Gators lacrosse team will welcome Maryland at noon tomorrow. This highly-anticipated battle will take place at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville. Finally, ESPN 98.1 FM – 850 AM WRUF will have live coverage on Twitter for the top-five face-off from Gainesville.