Saturday March 9, 2013No. 2 Gator Lacrosse Earns Ninth-Straight Win with 14-9 Victory at No. 13 Dartmouth
Four Gators scored multiple goals led by sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.) who tied her season-high five as No. 2 Florida lacrosse improved to 9-0 with a 14-9 win over No. 13 Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Scully-Fahey Field. The Gators also notched their fifth win over a ranked opponent this season and erased their second-largest deficit of the year in the first half to hold on for a victory.
The win also snaps the Big Green’s (4-1, 1-0 Ivy) 16 game regular-season home win streak that dated back to April 17, 2010. In addition to Gilroy’s five goals, senior attack Kitty Cullen (Rockville Md.) chipped in four points on two goals and two assists. Sophomore attack Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) scored a season-high three goals and senior attack Ashley Bruns (Ellicot City, Md.) found the back of the net twice in the win and also recorded an assist.
“As an overall offense I think we are moving the ball really well right now,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “We came out a little slow in the first half, but made some adjustments and were able to come away with a win over a Dartmouth team that is very good at home.”
Florida held a 16-4 lead with 4:50 left in the second half, as the Big Green rattled off three-straight goals to end the game. The Gators opened the second half with back-to-back goals from Barry and Gilroy making it a seven goal lead. Holding the Big Green scoreless for 16 minutes spanning the first and second halves, Dartmouth’s Kelsey Johnson found the back of the net with 21:04 to play in the game.
But the Gators found a way to keep a seven or eight goal lead for a majority of the second half, including Gilroy and Barry goals within a minute and a half of each other at the 15:09 and 14:23 marks.
Gilroy also led UF with two caused turnovers and a draw control in the game. Barry also recorded a career-high four draw controls, helping the Gators record a 15-9 advantage on the afternoon. Cullen led the way with three ground balls, helping her team to 13 on the day.
“Shannon has done a fantastic job for us this year so far and she’s one of those scorers who is really hard to stop and she’s got great size and good shots,” O’Leary said. “She put herself in a position to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Senior goalie Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) recorded four saves for her ninth win of the season as she also picked up two ground balls in the effort
It was all Dartmouth from the opening draw until about ten minutes into the first period, as it scored the first two goals of the game building the first two-point lead on the Gators since season opener against UNC early on in Saturday’s contest. Dartmouth would get another goal from Lindsey Allard to make it a 3-1 game.
But Orange and Blue went on an 8-1 run to close the first half starting with a Gilroy goal with 25:00 left on the clock off a pass from senior midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.).
“I thought the offense came out a little flat but once our offense got going and doing what we needed them to do and they started taking advantage of opportunities given to them,” O’Leary said.
Nicole Graziano made it a 3-2 game as Gilroy would tie things up at 3-3 on a free position goal from the eight meter mark. Senior attack Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) would take the first lead of the game off a wrap-around goal with 12:40 to play in the opening half. Chesterman found the back of the net and recorded two assists to tie a season-high three points in the win.
Cullen chipped in her second goal of the day with 11:18 to play as Dartmouth’s Liz Calby would score with eight minutes left, but that would be all for the Big Green in the half. Florida would close the half on a 4-0 run. In the final six minutes, Barry, Bruns and Gilroy all found the back of the net, sending the Gators into the locker room with a 9-4 lead.
The Gators are back at home on Tuesday as they host Lehigh at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Opening draw is set for 6:30 p.m.
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