Image Credit: Lee Weissman / Lax Magazine
On championship Sunday for Florida Gators athletics – with three programs competing for either regular-season or tournament titles – it was No. 2 lacrosse that got the ball rolling with a 13-8 win over the UConn Huskies to claim the 2016 Big East Championship.
The victory clinched the second straight regular-season Big East crown for Florida, which dating back to its time in the ALC has now won six consecutive conference championships.
The Gators also locked up the No. 1 seed in the 2016 Big East Tournament, which it will look to win for the second season in a row. Competition begins on Thursday, May 5 in Washington, D.C. Florida has won three of the last four conference tournaments in which it has competed (2012, 2014, 2015).
UF outshot UConn 35-15 on Sunday with redshirt senior midfielder Nicole Graziano tallying three goals on a game-high 10 attempts. Junior attacker Sammi Burgess and freshman M Lindsey Ronbeck each scored three goals as well with the trio combining for nearly three-quarters of their team’s scoring production.
Florida has never won the NCAA Championship in lacrosse despite qualifying for the postseason in five consecutive years and often entering the field as one of the top teams in the nation. At 16-1 (7-0 Big East), the Gators will enter the field with the best record in program history whether they win the league tournament title or fall in a game next week.