Florida Defeats Jacksonville, Will Play Maryland in NCAA Quarterfinals

PHOTO BY MATT PENDLETON/FLORIDA ATHLETICS

Freshman dynamo Emma LoPinto scores on a diving shot during Florida's 15-10 win over Jacksonville in an NCAA tournament second-round game Sunday in Gainesville.


In a Sunshine State rivalry that has blossomed since Jacksonville won its first game against Florida last season, it was the Gators that continued a historic streak of dominance Sunday.

In the second round of the NCAA tournament, the Gators leaned on a player whose star has shined brighter this season. Sophomore attacker Danielle Pavinelli scored five goals — bringing her total to 15 in the past three games — as the Gators never trailed in a 15-10 win over the Dolphins.

Pavinelli didn’t score her first goal of the game until three minutes into the second quarter. That broke the seal for the Northport, N.Y., product, as she proceeded to score twice more in the next four minutes. That was part of a 4-0 spurt started by freshman dynamo Emma LoPinto that put Florida ahead 9-3.

Jacksonville continued to hang around, but it could never get closer than the four-goal margin it had when Sarah Elms’ 63rd goal of the year found the back of the net with 10:17 left in the third quarter.







Alyssa Arnold got Jacksonville within four one last time with 10:45 remaining, but Josie Hahn (three goals) and LoPinto answered for a 15-9 Florida lead.

Sarah Reznick made 12 saves. Leah Lingo and Maggi Hall each notched three ground balls. Florida also caused 11 turnovers, which helped the Gators overcome Jacksonville’s 17-12 draw advantage.

The seventh-seeded Gators, who have come on strong in the second half of the spring, now head to College Park to face a second-seeded Maryland team that walloped Duke XX-X Sunday afternoon.

Maryland toppled Florida 18-8 on February 26, and while the Terps have maintained their success since, Florida has done a complete 180. That loss dropped the Gators to 2-2. They’re now 17-4.

The rematch comes Thursday in the NCAA quarterfinals. The game time is to be determined.

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