GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina made its first-ever appearance in the American Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship Thursday, falling to top seed and eighth-ranked Florida 18-7 at Johnson Stadium.
The Pirates end their season at 9-9 overall while the Gators improve to 14-4 in advance of a championship game appearance versus Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Emma LoPinto and Maggi Hall paced Florida with four goals apiece while Frances Kimel scored a hat trick of three goals. She added two assists to end up with a team-best five points.
The Gators outshot ECU 34-22 and held a 19-9 advantage in draw controls. The teams ended up even in ground balls at 19 apiece while combining to convert 32 of 33 clear attempts.
Florida seized control right away, outscoring East Carolina 8-1 in the first quarter. The Gators continued to pull away in the second quarter, netting six of the seven goals to build a 14-2 halftime lead.
After Florida extended its upper hand to 16-2, Kimel scored twice while Nicole LeGar added a score to cut the Gator lead to 16-5. Leah Bestany put the ball in the net less than two minutes into the fourth quarter to pull the Pirates within 10, but that was as close as ECU would come the rest of the way.