|Opponent||No. 7 Florida Gators|
|Date||Saturday, February 6, 2016|
|Location||Gainesville, Florida | Donald R. Dizney Stadium|
|Online Media||Live Stats | Video|
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• Loyola is beginning its 44th season of women's lacrosse competition earlier than ever.
• The game will be the season opener for both Loyola and Florida.
• Both teams were conference champions in 2015, as Loyola won a second-straight Patriot League title and Florida won the BIG EAST title during its inaugural season.
• This will be the fourth-straight year Loyola and Florida have met, including the second-straight year in Gainesville. The Gators have won all three contests.
• Both teams have been nationally ranked in each meeting with Loyola playing as the underdog all four times.
• This year's matchup will pit a pair of Canadian National Team teammates against each other. Assistant coaches Dana Dobbie (Loyola) and Crysti Foote (Florida) helped Canada to a bronze medal at the 2009 World Cup in Prague and then led the Canadians to their first-ever silver medal at the 2013 World Cup in Oshawa, Canada.
• Three Greyhounds will be playing in their home state; sisters Maddy and Olivia Blakeman (Vero Beach) and Bailey Mathis (Lake Worth).
Loyola Greyhounds (0-0, 0-0 Patriot League)
• In graduating four starting attackers and two midfielders, Loyola lost 88 percent of its scoring from a year ago (373 of 424 points), including 85.6 percent of its goals (243 of 284) and 93 percent of its assists (130 of 140).
• With 17 goals last year, senior Maddy Blakeman is the team's top returner scorer.
• Defensively, the Greyhounds boast a pair of ILWomen Preseason All-Americans.
• Senior Maddy Lesher , a two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and the League's preseason favorite for the award again this season, was one of five defenders named to the Preseason All-America First Team.
• Senior Molly Wolf was included as the Preseason All-America Second Team goalkeeper, coming in behind only UNC's Caylee Waters, the first-team selection.
• Lesher, Wolf and junior defender Bailey Mathis were voted to the 12-member Preseason All-Patriot League Team, while Loyola, winners of all 16 of its regular-season League games, was picked as the favorite in the Preseason Poll for a third-straight year.
• The Greyhounds' 10-member freshman class was ranked ninth nationally by ILWomen.
Florida Gators (0-0, 0-0 BIG EAST)
• Florida, coming off a BIG EAST title, looks to replace Shannon Gilroy, a Tewaaraton Finalist who finished 2015 ranked second in the NCAA with 74 goals and 98 points.
• On offense, the Gators return Mollie Stevens (43g, 52pts) and Nicole Graziano (26g, 40pts), while All-American Caroline Fitzgerald (32gb, 21ct) returns to the defense.
• In goal, Mary-Sean Wilcox returns after posting an 8.41 GAA and .409 save percentage.
• Florida also brings in the top-two ranked freshmen, Sydney Pirreca and Lindsey Ronbeck.
• The Loyola-Florida series began in 2013 and Loyola is still looking for its first win.
• The Gators were ranked in the top-five nationally each of the first three years, but open this year as the seventh-ranked team in the nation.
• In 2014, Loyola, ranked 12th at the time, had a chance to upset then-No. 5 Florida at Ridley Athletic Complex, but the Gators put together a four-goal run to tie the score at 13 with 4:22 to play. Nora Barry then scored the game-winner with 37 seconds left.
• Loyola also traveled to Florida in 2013 and 2015, falling 16-7 and 11-8, respectively.
• The Greyhounds open their season earlier than ever this year, traveling to Florida on Saturday, Feb. 6.
• Loyola will also head to Syracuse on Sunday, Feb. 14, giving the team two games earlier than ever.
• Prior to this year, the earliest the Greyhounds had ever started a season was in 2010, when Loyola lost at No. 18 Penn State, 9-8, on February 14.
• The Greyhounds hold an all-time record of 28-14-1 in season openers and a 15-9 mark when opening the season on the road.
• Under Jen Adams , Loyola is 3-4 in season openers, with two losses being one-goal decisions.
• This will be the ninth time in the last 10 years that the Greyhounds will open their season against a nationally ranked opponent, while this will be the earliest that Loyola has ever opened its season.
• Loyola is 5-7 against nationally ranked foes in a season opener, including dropping a 10-8 match at No. 15 Princeton last year.
• The Greyhounds will remain on the road for a second-straight contest, as Loyola travels to Syracuse on Sunday, Feb. 14.
• Opening draw in scheduled for noon in the Carrier Dome.