The USF lacrosse team lost 20-6 to No. 16 Florida on Tuesday, extending a losing streak that started more than two years ago. While the Bulls (0-8) will have to put yet another loss on their schedule, the Gators (8-1) have had a tremendous season, losing only to No. 1 Michigan.
Team captain Mike Hayes attributes the loss to the team’s lack of experience.
“With close to half of our team being first-year players, we’re just hoping to get more sticks out here and hope to move forward,” Hayes said.
The Gators scored within the opening minute of the first quarter when senior attackman Blaine Patrick beat Bulls’ senior goalie Micah Marazon from outside the crease. Patrick finished with six goals, scoring his first three in the first quarter.
Despite giving up the first 19 goals, Marazon had a good night between the pipes, with a total of 13 saves in three quarters. The Bulls struggled offensively to get the ball moving. Sloppy passes and missed ground balls plagued a struggling, young offense. They were held scoreless until the first minute of the second quarter when senior attackman Hayes scored two quick goals on freshman Grant Swartz and led the Bulls with four goals and an assist.
Senior defensive captain Tim Ruff was taken out of the game in the second quarter with a knee injury, giving the Gators an excellent opportunity to increase their lead.
Gators freshman attack Alex Cervasio closed the second quarter with a quick goal with two seconds left to give the Gators an 11-2 lead at the half.
Senior attackmen Jan Heredia and Josh House contributed one goal a piece for the Bulls in the third quarter. With a deflected shot off a Bulls defenseman and a stolen pass on a clearing attempt, the Gators scored two quick goals at the end of the third quarter to extend their lead to 20-5.
First-year coach Greg Matzke said the Bulls blew a crucial opportunity in the second quarter to keep the game close.
“The game was 5-2 and we just made easy mistakes,” Matzke said.