BATON ROUGE, La. – On it's first road trip of the season, the University of Florida men’s lacrosse defeated both LSU and Alabama in a span of less than 24 hours to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Florida last met LSU in 2015 when the Tigers defended their home field, defeating the Gators by a final score of 9-8 in an absolute thriller. Despite looking for revenge, Florida found itself trailing, 5-1 at the half. After regrouping in the locker room, the Gators took the momentum back with a big third quarter, outscoring the Tigers, 6-1 and taking a 7-6 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Gators were able to tack on three more goals and fend off a late LSU surge to defeat the Tigers, 10-8.
A lot of the credit for the Gators’ successful second half versus LSU goes to senior captains Aaron Silcott and Alex Triay. Silcott was phenomenal at the faceoff ‘X’ winning 77 percent of his attempts. He was able to give the offense the extra possessions they needed to put points on the board quickly and erase the first-half deficit.
In goal, Triay was able to spark the defense in the second half with his vocal on-field leadership and some timely saves at crucial junctures of the game. He turned in over half of his saves in the final 30 minutes of the game.
Offensively, sophomore midfielder Colin Milo and freshman attackman Sam Khalil lead the charge, supplying two goals each while Khalil added two assists to boot. Freshman Connor McAdorey scored his first career goal on a doorstep finish late in the game that essentially sealed the deal for the Gators.
The Alabama game was a different affair, as Florida came out guns blazing to take an early 4-1 lead. It seemed as if Florida would cruise to an easy victory, but Alabama found a way to dig out of the early hole and make things interesting.
After trading goals in the second, the Tide came out hot to start the third quarter, outscoring the Gators 4-2. Ultimately, the Gators weathered the storm and took back control of the game in the fourth by capitalizing on scoring chances in transition and converting two of three extra-man opportunities.
Senior attackman and team captain Hank Champagne provided two goals and supplied the assist on another in the final frame. Champagne finished the contest with five goals and two assists.
Triay made five of his fifteen saves in the final quarter, including some big stops on the doorstep en route to an 11-9 victory.
The Gators now shift their focus to a divisional matchup against South Florida. The game will take place in Gainesville on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. On Sunday afternoon, UF will host the first Jamie Chapin Classic, a charitable golf tournament benefiting UF Health’s brain cancer treatment and research (for more information, visit www.gatorlacrosse.com).