Monday April 23, 2012Gabi Wiegand Named WomensLax.com National Player of the Week
Junior attacker Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) was named WomensLax.com National Player of the Week this morning as a result of her spectacular offensive performance that helped lead the Gators to a huge upset over No. 1 Northwestern on Saturday. This is the first weekly honor for Wiegand since transferring to Florida this past fall, following a Spider of the Week nod from Richmondís school paper, The Collegian on April 7, 2011.
Wiegand is the first Gator this season to garner National Player of the Week from WomensLax.com, joining Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) and Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.), who earned the honor during the 2011 regular season. Bruns tabbed the honor on March 21 after an 8-point performance against No. 11 Syracuse, and Cullen got the nod on April 18 after scoring six goals against then-No. 2 Northwestern in the Gatorsí first upset of the Wildcats. The Bay Shore, N.Y., native is the third Florida player to earn any national player of the week honor his season, after Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) was named Rookie of the Week by WomensLax.com earlier this month on April 9, and Jamie Reeg (Atlantis, Fla.) picked up National Defensive Player of the Week honors from SynapseSports.com on March 26.
Wiegand scored a game-high four points, including the game-winning goal with 5:47 left in the second half, to power the Gators past the undefeated, top-ranked Wildcats, 8-7, and bring the ALC regular-season title to Florida for the second-straight year. Wiegand had a goal and two assists in the first half to help Florida take an early 5-2 lead. After the Wildcats forced their way back into the game and tied the score in the second half, Wiegand broke a 14-minute scoring drought with an unassisted goal to put UF back in front, 8-7, and help give the Gators arguably their biggest win in program history in front of a crowd of 1,578 at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill.
The win snapped the Wildcatsí 23-game winning streak dating back to April 16, 2011, and handed NU just its second loss at Lakeside Field since 2004. The six-time NCAA Champion Wildcats have lost just eight times since the beginning of the 2005 season, with two of the last three losses coming to the Gators. With the win, Florida becomes the only team besides Northwestern to win back-to-back ALC regular-season titles.
Florida will take the week off before returning to Donald R. Dizney Stadium to host the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament on May 3-5. The Gators, who have earned the top seed for the tournament and a first-round bye, will hit the field for the second semifinal game at 7 p.m. on May 4, where they will take on the winner of the quarterfinal game between the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams. The bottom three seeds have yet to be set, but Florida will face either Johns Hopkins, Ohio State or Vanderbilt. Live video coverage of the entire tournament will be streamed free of charge on GatorVision. For up-to-date information on the ALC Tournament, presented by STX, visit the tournament central page on GatorZone.