The fifth-ranked Florida lacrosse team will play an exhibition game Thursday night against the England National Team at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
Tonight's game is the first international competition for the Gators. Although Florida has never played a national team before, all three of the Gators' coaches have faced England as members of the U.S. National Team. Assistant coaches Erica LaGrow and Caitlyn McFadden played against England in the 2009 FIL World Cup, winning 20-3 in the semifinals en route to a U.S. gold medal.
Florida oach Amanda O'Leary played against England in back-to-back World Cup finals in 1989 and 1993, in which the US team won gold medals.
"England is our first international competition ever, so we're very, very excited to hit the field," O'Leary said. "I think we're just looking to see where we are at this point in time. We've been practicing for about two and a half weeks, so I think it's going to be a good gauge as to where we are offensively."
The Gators return 17 players from their record-breaking 2011 season, including 11 starters, while bringing in the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation, according to Inside Lacrosse magazine.
Hear more from O'Leary about the upcoming season: