posted 03.16.2011 at 2.27 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

LM with Sheehan Podcast Highlights

Listen to Florida coach Mandee O'Leary on the podcast:

In just its second year of existence, the Florida women's lacrosse team is off to a 7-1 start and is ranked No. 10 in this week's IWLCA Division I poll -- the fastest team in history to hit the top 10.

Sheehan Stanwick Burch and I had Gators head coach Mandee O'Leary on this week's Lacrosse Magazine Podcast. You can find the full podcast here or listen solely to the O'Leary segment at right. Here are some highlights:

* O'Leary talked about losing top scorer Kitty Cullen during a 17-10 win over Georgetown. "It was one of those questions. How is this team going to respond without Kitty? It was just great for us to see that Brittany Dashiell stepped up and even a freshman, Krista Grabher, stepped up... I don't want to be without Kitty many more times."

Cullen's first card came on a dangerous follow-through on a "basketball slam dunk" play, O'Leary said, "a freak incident." The second came on a check to the opponent's head while riding. "I think it was a bit of an anomaly," O'Leary said of an offensive player getting two yellow cards in one game, "but at the same time we need ot be smarter on the offensive end in terms of those fouls."

* O'Leary credited Florida's strength and conditioning staff for the physical maturity of the Gators' heralded sophomores. "They're a little bigger, a little stronger, a little faster," she said. "We're starting to catch up. The biggest transition from high school to college is the conditioning."

* O'Leary on stalling in women's lacrosse: "It's every coach's responsibility to put their team in a position for victory," she said, defending Gary Gait's tactics against Maryland. "If there are enough coaches out there that feel there is a need for change, then we'll see that brought to the rules committee."

* O'Leary on if she thinks Syracuse will employ the stall against Florida: "There's a very different level of respect for Maryland than there is for us."

That gap is narrowing fast.