Saturday April 14, 2012Gators Capture 10th-Straight Victory, Defeat Vanderbilt, 17-5, in Home Finale
The No. 5 Florida lacrosse team closed out the home season in style, cruising to a 17-5 conference victory over No. 17 Vanderbilt. Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md,) scored a career-high-tying six points to lead the Gators to their 10th-straight victory, running Florida’s record to 14-2 (4-0 ALC) with one game to go in the regular season. With the loss, the Commodores drop to 7-6 overall and finish their conference slate with a 1-4 record in ALC play.
“Offensively, I thought they ran through their plays,” said Head Coach Amanda O’Leary. “I think Vanderbilt is a really good defensive team, and offensively we did a nice job of containing them.”
Brittany Dashiell led both teams with six points on the afternoon, scoring two goals and tying the school record with four assists. Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) was tops on the Gators with five goals, and Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.) followed closely with four.
“Kitty has a rocket for a shot,” Gilroy said of her teammate. “Every time she shoots the ball in practice, everyone steps out of the way. I know the goalies do, too. She has a really nice shot.”
Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) recorded three goals, Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) put up two goals and an assist, and reigning National Rookie of the Week Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) scored the remaining goal and assist, adding a team-high five draw controls, three ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Before the game, Coach O’Leary stressed the importance of winning the battle for possession, which the Gators excelled at this afternoon, leading 15-9 in draw controls and 31-13 in shots.
“Shannon did a really nice job (taking the draw),” O’Leary said. “Ally Carey is one of the best draw specialists in the country, if not the best, and I thought Shannon certainly held her own. I thought both of them did a fantastic job on the draw.”
Emily Dohony (Parkton, Md.) and Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) each recorded three ground balls on defense, and Dohony also caused two turnovers.
Meagher made seven saves and allowed just five goals in the complete game, while Commodore keeper Natalie Wills put up nine saves but gave up all 17 scores.
Senior midfielder Ally Carey, a 2011 First-Team All-ALC selection, led the Commodores with two goals, four draw controls and two caused turnovers.
Kitty Cullen got the scoring started two and a half minutes in, taking the ball across the midfield and driving into the arc for an unassisted goal. Carly Linthicum bounced a shot past Meagher 59 seconds later, but the Gators followed with an 8-0 run to head into the half leading 9-1.
Ally Carey scored her first goal of the afternoon for the Commodores with 28:55 to play in the second half, but Dashiell notched the first of her two goals at 26:57, and a wraparound diving goal from Chesterman made it 10-2 in favor of the Gators.
The Commodores continued to fight, scoring three of the next four goals over a stretch of three and a half minutes, but they were unable to complete the comeback, as Florida closed out the second half on a 5-goal run for a final score of 17-5. The 12-goal gap marks the highest scoring margin for the Gators against an ALC opponent, topping their 14-3 defeat of Johns Hopkins in the 2010 ALC Tournament.
The Gators will conclude the regular season on the road next weekend, when they travel to Chicago to play the top-ranked Northwestern Wildcats (13-0, 3-0 ALC). The winner of Saturday’s matchup will be crowned as the ALC regular-season champion. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET) and will air online on the Big Ten Digital Network.