Florida Gators make fast work of Cincinnati Bearcats to advance to tourney finale

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Florida advanced to the AAC tournament championship game on Thursday with an easy 19-6 win over Cincinnati at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

The No. 8 Gators (15-2) will play the winner of the other semi-final on Thursday evening between Vanderbilt (12-5) and Temple (11-4) for the title from Saturday lunchtime when they compete in their seventh conference in a row tournament championship.

“Cincinnati came out of the locker room very strong and dominated the draw circle early on, but we responded well and made adjustments,” said UF coach Amanda O’Leary. “Shannon (Kavanagh) did a good job helping us control the swing.”

Paisley Eagan and Grace Haus led by four goals each, followed by two by Kavanagh and Danielle Pavinelli. Kavanagh’s first goal of the day was her 200th career. She was only the fourth gator to reach this milestone.

Seven Gators scored one goal each in the afternoon: Brianna Harris, Kassidy Bresnahan, Ashley Gonzalez, Shelton Sawers, Emily Heller, Kaala Puglisi and Janine Suris.

Harris distributed five templates and thus linked her best record. Bresnahan put together two of their own helpers to improve their careers, while Eagan and Gonzalez each registered an assistant.

Florida won 16 of 25 draw controls, led by eight by Kavanagh and two by Heller.

UF’s defense was secured against the Bearcats (7-10), which allowed only two goals and a total of eight turnovers in the first 47 minutes of the game.

Kaitlyn Dabkowski was eliminated in defense and recorded a career high of four caused sales and a personal best of four groundballs.

Sarah Reznick had a stellar game in the cage, recording seven saves and only allowing three goals for a savings of 0.700 percent. She also posted a career high five groundballs.