Gators lacrosse advances to the finals of the AAC tournament

The No. 9 Florida lacrosse team (16-3) secured its spot in the AAC Tournament finals after defeating Vanderbilt (9-8) 17-8 on Thursday night.

Florida is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and Vanderbilt is the No. 4 seed.

Vanderbilt and UF faced each other on March 30 earlier this season. Florida won 20-5 in Nashville.

The Gators got off to a slow start and ended the first quarter tied at 4-4. UF found the net four more times in the second quarter and took an 8-6 halftime lead.

They picked up the pace in the second half and outscored the Commodores 7-0 in the third quarter.

Additionally, Florida scored 12 straight goals through three quarters. Goals from veteran attacker Danielle Pavinelli opened and closed the series in the second and fourth quarters.

Eight Gators scored in the matchup.

Florida senior attacker Maggi Hall – AAC Attacker of the Year – scored four goals and had three assists. She scored once in the first quarter, twice in the second quarter and once in the third quarter.

Midfielder Emily Heller found the net five times. She scored two goals in the first quarter, once in the second quarter and twice in the third quarter.

Gators redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Elyse Finnelle, the AAC Goalkeeper of the Year, posted a .429 save percentage on 14 shots on goal.

Florida finished the game with 27 shots on goal, 14 fouls and 14 turnovers. The Commodores fouled 18 times and committed 16 turnovers.

The Gators will face the winner of No. 1 on Thursday at 8:45 p.m. 3 Temple and No. 4 James Madison. The final is scheduled to take place on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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Contact Lacey Rogers at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @laceyyrog.

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Lacey Rogers

Lacey Rogers is a third-year journalism student and is a sports reporter for The Alligator. She is a big fan of the Washington Capitals and hopes to work for them after she graduates.

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