Wednesday April 25, 2012Gators Sweep ALC Weekly Awards; Wiegand, Farrell, Barry Honored
The Florida Gators were awarded all three Player of the Week honors from the American Lacrosse Conference this week after their landmark victory over No. 1 Northwestern on Saturday. Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.), the WomensLax.com National Player of the Week, takes home her first career ALC Offensive Player of the Week honor. Sam Farrell (Millersville, Md.) earns ALC Defensive Player of the Week for the third time in her career and the first time this season, and Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) tabs her ALC-best fourth Rookie of the Week honor. The Gators are the first team ever to earn all three ALC weekly honors since the addition of Rookie of the Week.
Wiegand scored a game-high four points, including the game-winning goal with 5:47 left in the second half at No. 1 Northwestern, to lead the Gators past the undefeated Wildcats, 8-7, and bring home the ALC regular-season title. Wiegand had a goal and two assists in the first half to help Florida take a 5-2 lead at the break. 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.
Farrell anchored the UF defensive line that held No. 1 Northwestern to its lowest point total of the season, recording three ground balls, a draw control and three caused turnovers. Farrell caused two turnovers in the first half which helped hold NU to just two goals in the period, then was a part of two turnovers in the final five minutes of play which kept the Wildcats from creating a late comeback. Additionally, she held the Wildcats' second-leading scorer Erin Fitzgerald to just one shot on goal from the field, and allowed her mark just two free-position goals, neither of which came off fouls she committed.
Barry played the full 60 minutes against Northwestern, and the freshman did not back down against the powerhouse 'Cats. The freshman midfielder scored a goal, an assist, a ground ball and two draw controls, asserting her influence on both ends of the field as well as helping the Gators go a perfect 13-for-13 through the midfield on clears. Though the Gators held a 5-2 lead at the half, the Wildcats came out of the break firing and tied the score in under four minutes. Just 27 seconds after NU tied it, Barry executed a perfect assist to Ashley Bruns off an 8-meter attempt to give the lead back to the Gators. The 'Cats then powered in front 7-6, but Barry made another big play 57 seconds later, getting open and driving the ball in to tie the score at seven and give the Gators the opportunity to win.
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.