Site: Gainesville, Fla. (Donald R. Dizney Stadium)
Score: Florida 17, High Point 10
Records: Florida (5-2, 0-0 AAC), HPU (1-4, 0-0 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, March 14 — at Marquette (Valley Fields), 2 p.m.
Gainesville, Fla. – The High Point University women’s lacrosse team lost its second road game of the year on Saturday (March 7) afternoon, to the No. 5 ranked Florida Gators 17-10. Nicole Pugh matched her career-high in goals (3) for the second time this season.
Pugh opened up the scoring for the Panthers with her eighth goal of the year at the 25:53 mark, getting HPU off to a hot start. The Gators answered right back, winning the draw control and scoring to tie the game. The Panther defense responded, walling up and causing a rare Florida turnover. The Gators came into the contest third in turnovers per game in the country with 11, they finished the match with 17. Following the defensive stand, Abby Hormes sprinted the length of the field and found a cutting Pugh in transition who beat Florida’s Sarah Reznick for the second time in as many shots.
HPU continued applying pressure to UF’s stingy defense and it was Hormes that was able to breakthrough. Mena Loescher found a cutting Hormes who netted her fourth goal on the season to put the score at 3-1. The goal also moved Hormes into second all-time in High Point history.
Down 4-2 the Gators made a ferocious run midway through the first period. It was ignited by a Brianna Harris goal at the 14:07 mark and Florida then went on to score four more unanswered goals, taking a 7-4 lead with just over ten minutes left in the period. Despite multiple close opportunities, the Panthers were unable to get past a stout Gator defense, even hitting the frame of the goal on occasion.
The Gators took advantage of HPU’s woes and scored late in the period, extending their lead to four. Pugh was able to get one back for the Panthers, giving her a hat trick on the day and cutting the deficit to three entering the half.
High Point’s momentum spilled into the second half, with Foster scoring less than forty-five seconds into the period for her second goal of the day. Florida countered, going on to score back to back goals that put its lead back to four with over 20 minutes left to play.
HPU slowly came into its own offensively, earning a free-position shot after working the ball around in Florida’s defensive zone. Hormes stepped up and was able to convert to put the score at 7-12 in favor of the Gators.
The home side added to their lead going on another four-goal run to put the score at 16-7 but with 6:35 left in the contest, Hormes ended the HPU drought with her third goal of the day. Both Kaely Kyle and Hormes would score in the games closing moments to give the Panthers 10 goals on the day.
Up Next: High Point travels to Marquette on Saturday (March 14) to take on the Golden Eagles for the third game of a five-game road swing.