Kitty Cullen had three goals and two assists.
Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Senior attacker Kitty Cullen had five points as senior midfielder Brittany Dashiell and sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy chipped in four goals apiece to guide No. 3 Florida past No. 18 Stony Brook 16-9 in the Gators' home opener at Donald R. Dizney Stadium on Wednesday.

The Gators continued their win streak as they improved to 4-0 overall with help from five players with two or more goals and taking the advantage in draw controls, winning the battle 19-8 overall including 11 in the first half. Senior defender Sam Farrell stepped up to tie her career-high six draw controls on the afternoon while Dashiell added four and Gilroy earned three. The 19 draw controls ties for the fifth-best team total in school history.

“I thought we started out really strong,” head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “I thought we came out offensively everything was clicking, defensively I thought we gave up some quick goals which is uncharacteristic of us and hitting that lull. We have to fix that because we could find ourselves in a deep deficit [if] we let that happen again.”

Florida came roaring out to start the game with an early 5-0 lead to take control of the first half. Dashiell got things started off a free position shot just 50 seconds into the game, followed up by goals from sophomore midfielder Nora Barry, Cullen, senior attack Ashley Bruns and senior attacker Gabi Wiegand. The Gators' defense held Stony Brook scoreless for nearly the first nine minutes before Stony Brook’s Demmianne Cook scored at the 21:04 mark.

Gilroy scored her first goal of the day at the 20:28 mark on a free position shot that sparked another Florida run, scoring five goals in a row to take a 10-1 lead. In the run, Cullen found the back of the net for back-to-back goals as Dashiell and Barry helped the Gators take a nine-goal lead.

Stony Brook (1-1) was relentless in its effort, coming back to score four goals to close out the half, as Florida held a 10-5 advantage at the break. The Seawolves held the Gators scoreless for the final 11 minutes of the first half.

Florida veterans Dashiell and Gilroy added two goals to start the second half, although Stony Brook cut the lead to four with 19:37 to play. Gilroy and Dashiell again combined for three goals to help keep the Seawolves out of reach.

Freshman goalie Mary Sean Wilcox earned a team-high five saves in the win as she relieved starter senior Mikey Meagher who had four saves and earned the win. O’Leary said it adds to the Gators depth having Wilcox on their bench. Wilcox entered the game with 19:37 left in the second half and allowed just one goal to her five saves.

“Mary Sean [Wilcox] is such a great option to have and you see why. She can step in there and for her to come into a game like this where the momentum was certainly not in our favor and make some good saves, that certainly says a lot about her and our defense is really comfortable playing in front of her,” O’Leary said.