The Gators’ Hot Start
Despite their seemingly average 4-2 record, the Gators have played extremely well to begin the season. Five of the Gators first 6 games have been against ranked opponents. They defeated No. 17 Colorado, No. 23 Loyola and No. 3 North Carolina. However, they dropped games against No. 8 Syracuse and No. 1 Maryland. Due to their success during this tough stretch, the Gators currently sit as the No. 6 team in the country.
Matchup Against Navy
After one of the most difficult opening stretches in all of women’s lacrosse, one would reasonably expect the next stretch of games to be relatively easy. Well, this reasonable expectation could not be further from the truth. The No. 10 Navy Midshipmen travel to Gainesville on Tuesday to give the Gators another challenging matchup. Navy boasts an impressive 5-1 record, with their only loss coming against No. 2 ranked Boston College. This matchup will be the first ever meeting between the Gators and Midshipmen in women’s lacrosse. Florida and Navy have been two of the most dominant teams in the nation since 2011, despite never meeting head-to-head. Both teams, since 2011, are top 5 in both total wins and win percentage, with Florida trailing only Maryland.
— Gators Turf Staff (@GatorTurfStaff) March 12, 2018
Tuesday’s matchup will feature two powerhouse coaches, Florida’s Amanda O’Leary and Navy’s Cindy Timchal. In Timchal’s 36-year career, she has attained the most wins in NCAA history with a whopping 496 victories. In 1992-93, O’Leary served as an assistant coach under Timchal at Maryland. Since then, O’Leary has accumulated an impressive 297 wins over 23 seasons as a head coach.
When asked about playing against her former mentor’s team, O’Leary said, “It is an honor for us to host one of our service academies. Navy is a very experienced and talented team that knows what it takes to win. We’re really looking forward to the challenge of them (Navy) coming in here tomorrow and giving us a great game in front of our fans. We’ve had some productive practices over the last couple of days and I think the team is eager to get back out on the field.”
The opening draw is set for 1 p.m. at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Admission to all lacrosse regular season home games is free for all fans. Also, the first 100 fans will receive a voucher for a free taco from Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria.