Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/15/217
From US Lacrosse
Marie McCool’s game-winning goal with 2:15 remaining lifted Team USA past a surging Florida and gave the host team a 20-19 victory in the first game of Team USA’s Spring Premiere on Saturday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. McCool (North Carolina/Moorestown-NJ) tied for the team lead with three goals and added an assist.
After a Gators score, Team USA took the early momentum with a 3-0 run off of goals from Katie Schwarzmann (Maryland ’13), Kayla Treanor (Syracuse ’16) and Alex Aust (Maryland ’13). All three finished with two goals on the day.
Florida responded with a 3-0 run of its own, with Lindsey Ronbeck and Shayna Pirreca leading the way. Pirreca, a junior, scored four goals in the loss.
Team USA took control through the rest of the first half, ending it on an 8-4 run. Taylor Cummings (Maryland ’16) and Danielle Etrasco (Boston U. ’13) both scored twice in the run that gave Team USA an 11-8 lead going into the second half.
The teams went back-and-forth to start the second half, but Team USA pulled out to a 17-12 lead with 12:46 remaining in the game. Six different scorers contributed to the early second-half success.
Down five goals, Florida mounted a comeback that had fans at IMG Academy Field cheering loudly toward the end of the game. The rally started with two quick goals from Mollie Stevens — the first coming off a draw control from Allie Pavinelli and the second coming from a Caroline Fitzgerald pass following a successful clear.
That gave the Gators the momentum, which they used to tie the game at 17-17 with 9:53 left after a Pirreca goal that came just seconds after a Stevens draw control win.
“You have to give Florida a tremendous amount of credit,” Team USA coach Ricky Fried said. “I thought for a period of time, they fought a lot harder than we did, so there’s some disappointment in that for us as a staff, but our focus is this group of people. … We need to realize it doesn’t matter how well or badly we did. We have to move to the next play right away.”
Team USA responded less than three minutes later, when Cummings drove past Pavinelli and finished in front to help her team regain the lead. Cummings tied with McCool with three goals in the win.
However, Sammi Burgess answered back with two goals in a span of less than two minutes to put Florida back on top, 19-18. Burgess led the team with five goals and two assists.
Down a goal, Team USA needed an answer and got one from Kylie Ohlmiller (Stony Brook), who beat Florida goalie Haley Hicklen to tie the game with 3:38 remaining.
Just over a minute later, McCool got a pass from Michelle Tumolo (Syracuse ’13, Clearvuew Regional-NJ), faked a shot from the top of the 12-meter line and drove in for the game-winning goal.
Team USA and Florida agreed to end the day after one game. The hosts will be back in action Sunday morning at 10 a.m., when it faces Notre Dame at IMG Academy. The Men’s National Team will play Notre Dame shortly after.