GAINESVILLE, FLA. – A stifling defense was too much for the East Carolina lacrosse team to overcome as the Pirates fell to No. 10 Florida 19-7 on Saturday afternoon.
The Pirates fall to 3-9 overall and 1-5 in the AAC while Florida improves to 9-2 with a 6-0 league mark.
Florida, which came into the day with the fourth-ranked scoring defense in the country, used that defense to jump out to a 9-0 lead over the first 14 minutes of the game. Grace Haus scored four of those goals while Brianna Harris and Shanon Kavanagh each added a pair.
The Pirates finally got on the scoreboard when Ally Stanton earned a free-position shot and was able to bury it. Stanton’s goal was followed by another ECU scoreless stretch of nine minutes, in which Florida added another pair of goals, including a fifth from Haus. Megan Pallozzi broke that streak with a free-position goal of her own, but the Gators added the final two goals of the opening half to take a 13-2 lead into the break.
East Carolina did start the second half off on the right foot, with Stanton getting her second goal of the game less than 90 seconds after play restarted. However, Florida once again clamped down on the Pirate offense and scored the game’s next three goals to lead 16-3 with 14:37 remaining.
ECU’s offense began to find some success late in the second half, stringing multiple goals together. Brittany Borchers scored off a nice pass from MacKell Schultes before Frances Kimel bounced in a free-position effort. Pallozzi made it three straight Pirate goals when she scored her second free-position goal of the day.
After a Florida goal ended the brief ECU run, Megan Tryniski made it five free-position goals for ECU. But that was the final ECU tally of the day, with the Gators getting the final two goals of the game.
Florida finished with a 31-14 edge in shots. The Gators also had the edge in draw controls (14-12), ground balls (20-14) and turnovers (16-9). Haus finished as the high scorer of the day with six goals.
Pallozzi and Stanton led the Pirates with two goals each. Nicole LeGar had six draw controls for ECU. Alexandra Giacolone forced a pair of Gator turnovers and scooped up three ground balls. In the cage, Ashley Vernon finished with six stops for the Pirates.
ECU will have a weekend off before returning to action for a pair of games at Temple. The first will be at 4 p.m., on Friday, April 16.