GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The UConn women’s lacrosse team suffered its first Big East loss of the season, 13-8, to No. 2 Florida Sunday at Dizney Stadium. The Gators were crowned the Big East Regular Season Champions for the second straight year.
Florida, 7-0 in Big East games, will be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament while UConn will be the No. 2 seed with its 6-1 Big East record.
In a low scoring first half, UConn struck first after sophomore Kelsey Catalano (Stony Brook, N.Y.) found the back of the net to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
UConn maintained its 1-0 lead for almost 10 minutes, but Florida scored back-to-back goals, less than a minute apart, to take a 2-1 lead with 15:38 left in the first. Freshman Brooke Jensen (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) sniped one top corner to knot the score up 2-2.
The Gators capitalized on back-to-back free-position attempts to claim the first two-goal lead of the match just under the 10 minute mark. Senior captain Alexandra Crofts (Westport, Conn.) closed the gap with less than five minutes on the clock to bring the Huskies back to within one of the Gators, 4-3.
Florida scored on a fast break with 2:22 left in the half to put the score at 5-3, but two last second goals, one from each team, left the score at 6-4 heading into halftime. Junior Ally Tilley (Setauket, N.Y.) scored with 29 seconds left on the clock to again bring UConn to within one, but Florida reclaimed its two-goal lead after scoring with four seconds remaining in the first half.
Coming out of halftime, Florida opened second-half scoring just over five minutes in. The Gators proceeded to kill 10 minutes off the clock before furthering their lead, 9-4, with a wrap-around goal at 14:39 and another goal just a minute later.
The Gators put up four more goals on the board to take a 13-4 lead. UConn was held scoreless for the entire second half until it scored four consecutive goals in the last two minutes, two from senior Alexa Bonnes (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and one each from sophomore Grace Nolan (Marcellus, N.Y.) and freshman Cait Leary (Suffern, N.Y.).
UConn’s last minute scoring spree brought the score to 13-8 as time expired. Florida will finish its regular season 16-1, while UConn drops to 12-3 heading into its final regular season contest.
The Huskies close out their regular season schedule with a non-conference match-up against No. 18 Towson on Sunday, May 1 at noon on the road at the Johnny Unitas Stadium.
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