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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

PREVIEW: Women’s lacrosse set for showdown with No. 9 Florida

Photo by Kate Holstein

Marquette (9-4, 5-0 BIG EAST) will head to Gainesville, Florida Saturday to take on the No. 9 Florida Gators (10-3, 5-0 BIG EAST) to achieve two program-firsts: a victory over the Gators and a first-place ranking in the BIG EAST Conference standings. The Golden Eagles have lost all three games its played against Florida in program history.

Assistant Coach Caitlin Fifield said the team is confident because of its fast start, but isn’t taking anything for granted.

“We’re high-tuned into us and we’re going to respect Florida and know it’s going to be a battle for sure and definitely a tight game,” Fifield said.

Marquette is coming off a 13-11 victory against Vanderbilt. Junior midfielder Grace Gabriel scored her 51st goal of the season against the Commodores, putting her just four shy of 2017 alumna Julianna Shearer’s program record for goals in a season.

“Grace has always been, you know, a great goal scorer for us,” Fifield said. “Right now, she has six or seven people she can really trust down there and work well with.”

Gabriel is going to have competition against the Gators lead attacker senior Shayna Pirreca, who has 39 goals on the season and scored a season-high of six against North Carolina.

While Pirreca will put the Golden Eagles’ defense to work, the Marquette line has proven itself up to the challenge, limiting opponents to 11.85 goals per game, or fourth out of 10 BIG EAST teams.

Perhaps the only thing more tenacious than Marquette’s defense has been its effort in the draw control circle. Marquette leads the conference with 16.31 controls per game.

“We try and have a new mindset every draw,” Fifield said. “If we get scored on, we’re ready to attack and just be aggressive and kind of focus on the full 60 minutes going forward.”

The refreshed mindset will be fundamental for six-foot senior midfielder Allison Lane, who has controlled 61 draws, second only to Gabriel.

The first draw is set for 11 a.m. CT and the game is viewable on Florida’s YouTube page.

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