Midfielder Lindsey Durkota ran almost the entire field.
Durkota threw the ball towards the gators’ net. Goalkeeper Sarah Reznick stretched from post to post but couldn’t stop the quick shot. Cincinnati took its first lead in the two-game series.
The consecutive goals at the start of the first half showed the Bearcats would not return to Ohio without a fight. However, No. 12 Florida finished the sweep in a 19-5 victory.
“We knew they wouldn’t just back away,” said Reznick. “We knew we had to come out stronger today and I think we did really well.”
An early yellow card for a cut in the head of attacker Brianna Harris gave Florida a man-up advantage. Freshman Danielle Pavinelli bounced the ball past goalkeeper Kate Brocato and hit the polyester net.
Harris couldn’t pause when her glasses fell off her face and was given a green card for trying to play the ball without her. Striker Monica Borzillo, the Bearcats’ leading scorer, took the opportunity to recharge the net and score a goal.
Both teams played aggressively. The Gator Defense, led by Cara Trombetta, a Preseason AAC Co-Defender of the Yeardenied Cincinnati every chance it got.
Chants of “Here we go Gators, here we go” sounded through the stands of the Diz. The fans stamped their feet in the stands, which created a different atmosphere than Friday match.
In an adrenaline rush, midfielder Ashley Gonzalez pushed midfielder Amanda Fess and she earned a yellow card. Not long after that, midfielder Sam Mlkvy joined her opponent on the sidelines with a green card for an illegal cradle.
The cards rolled on as the clock ran out. In the first half, AAC preseason midfielder of the year Shannon Kavanagh and striker Danielle Pavinelli had hat tricks with eight minutes remaining.
Half of Florida had an 11-point advantage. And 11 soon became 14.
The AAC enemies flashed from the field house to light the scoreboard. Defender Kaitlyn Dabkowski spotted an open window and prepared attacker Kassidy Bresnahan to score. The senior broke the seal in three minutes after half-time.
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Trainer Amanda O’Leary began handing out her appetizers. Junior defender Catherine Moriarty pushed a Bearcats player like a shopping cart and received a yellow card.
Then the attacker Kaala Puglisi snapped a shot from the 12-meter fan. The ball brushed the top post, went down, and rolled past goalkeeper Gianna Pope. The sophomore secured victory for Florida when their teammates burst out with cheers.
The Gators were ready as soon as they got out of the locker room, O’Leary said.
“Our team did very well from top to bottom and was very happy with today’s performance,” she said. “The ability to finish in the end was crucial.”
The Gators compete against the East Carolina Pirates in the ‘Diz Thursday. The draw is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Contact Karina Wilson at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @kk_rinaa
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Karina Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication with a specialization in Sports and Media. She wants to create engaging, accurate, and timely content for all types of sports fans. Karina is currently the lacrosse beatwriter for The Alligator.