Saturday March 30, 2013No. 10/9 Penn State Upsets No. 2 Florida Lacrosse 16-11
State College, Pa.
State College, Pa.
It was a not so happy trip to Happy Valley as No. 2 Florida lacrosse couldn’t overcome a sluggish second half to suffer its first loss of the season at No. 10/9 Penn State, 16-11, on Saturday. The Nittany Lions defeat the Gators for the first time in five meetings between the two teams.
The Gators (13-1, 1-1 ALC) struggled in the second half, as Penn State outscored the Gators in the period, 10-2. Florida only mustered three shots in the second period, but converting two goals on those shots. Penn State used two scoring streaks in the second half, one six goal run and three-straight goals to close out the game, to overcome the Orange and Blue.
Senior attack Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) led the offense with four points including a hat trick on the afternoon. Sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.), senior midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) and senior attack Ashley Bruns (Ellicot City, Md.) all chipped in two goals apiece to help the Gators score 11 goals on the day.
Taking a 9-6 lead into the break, Florida couldn’t win a draw, as it lost draw controls 15-12 in the game and 9-2 in the second half. The Nittany Lions (7-3, 2-0) took control of the game at the 23:14 mark rattling off six-straight goals using a series of stalls throughout the final period.
“Penn State certainly dominated the draw control and I give all the credit to them because I think they did a great job of isolating us, and we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to today,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said.
Senior attack Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) scored the final Orange and Blue goal of the game with 5:26 left to play. Senior goalie Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) played the entire game in goal, recording eight saves.
Florida’s offense shined in the first half as Wiegand got started early, scoring the game’s first goal with 28:18 to play on an assist by senior defender Sam Farrell. Farrell made the clear and taking into the offensive half of the field and records her first assist since 2010.
Dashiell would give the Gators a quick 2-0 lead with a goal of her own but Penn State responded with back-to-back goals at the 26:22 mark.
The Lions would respond with back-to-back goals, knotting the score at two apiece less than six minutes into the contest on goals from Tatum Coffey and Kelly Lechner.
Gilroy helped the Orange and Blue regain the lead with a goal inside the eight meter circle and followed up by finding Wiegand for a 4-2 lead. Florida held their largest lead of the game of three goals twice in the first half.
“Offensively we did a good job finding the back of the net but again, credit to Penn State for coming out with a good defensive plan,” O’Leary said.
The two teams went nearly goal-for-goal as Bruns would score the final goal of the first half. Florida is now 45-4 in games when leading at the half.
With the loss, UF snaps a 24 game regular season win streak and 11 game conference win streak that dated back to May 7, 2010.
Florida is back in action next Saturday as it hosts No. 12/16 Johns Hopkins at Dinzey Stadium. Opening draw is set for noon.
For all of the latest information on Florida lacrosse, please log on to www.GatorZone.com/lacrosse or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida lacrosse on Twitter at @GatorZoneLAX or www.twitter.com/GatorZoneLAX. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.