Fourth-Ranked Florida Defeats Women's Lacrosse in Retrievers' Season Opener

BALTIMORE- UMBC scored the game's first goal, but fourth-ranked Florida (2-1) tallied the next seven en route to an 18-6 victory in the Retrievers' season opener played in chilly conditions at UMBC Stadium.

UMBC senior attack Emily Coady (Westminter, Md./Westminster) led the Retrievers with three goals, while freshman attack Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) scored two goals and added an assist in her Retriever debut.

Florida was paced by freshman midfielder Nicole Graziano, who scored five goals, while junior attack Kitty Cullen had four goals and two helpers.

UMBC turned a Gator turnover into the first score of the season, as sophomore midfielder Taeler Errington (Valley Lee, Md./Leonardtown) forced the miscue on a clearing attempt and fed Coady for a score in front of the UF cage with 3:42 elapsed.

But Florida's Brittany Dashielle evened the score on the first of four UF free-position shot goals at the 6:47 mark, igniting the Gators' run. UMBC would score two of the final three goals of the half, as Wilson scored her first collegiate goal with 4:48 to play in the stanza and Coady capped the first half scoring off a Wilson feed to cut the deficit to 8-3 at the half.

After Florida scored a man-up goal just 12 seconds into the second half, Wilson replied 1:55 into the stanza to keep UMBC within five goals. But an ensuing 7-1 Gator run over a 15- minute span put the game out of reach.

Florida outshot UMBC, 35-24, as UMBC junior netminder Kendall Mason made seven saves for the hosts. Gator starter Mikey Meagher also made seven saves, allowing the first four UMBC goals in nearly 48 minutes of action.

Draw controls were even in the game at 13-all.

In its next outing, UMBC takes on George Mason in Fairfax, Va. on Feb. 25.