Sunday May 5, 2013No. 4 Northwestern Downs No. 2 Florida lacrosse in ALC Title Game
No. 2 Florida lacrosse had no answer for No. 4 Northwestern as it fell in the American Lacrosse Conference title game, 8-3, on Sunday at Homewood Field. Florida (17-2) will now await tonight’s selection show at 9 p.m. to learn its place in the NCAA Tournament.
Three different Gators scored on the afternoon and senior goalie Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) stopped six shots but it wasn’t enough as Northwestern outshot UF 24-9 with the difference makers coming on draws. The Wildcats (17-2) powered over the Gators on the draw 10-3 and won all six draws in the first half. It was a much different contest than two weeks ago in Gainesville where Florida overwhelmed Northwestern 22-4, as it produced its lowest scoring total of the season on Sunday.
“I have to give credit to Northwestern for coming in with a great game plan, and they were the better team today,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “We knew possession was going to be a big part of this game and they just dominated on the draws. So we go back to the drawing board to see where we need to improve, and there is a whole postseason yet to be played.”
Northwestern struck first on a Kelly Rich goal with a little over two minutes burned off the clock. Senior attack Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) retaliated for the Orange and Blue to knot things up at 1-1 on a free position 7:26 seconds into the game.
Florida took a 2-1 lead on a Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) goal assisted by sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.) but that would be it for the Gators in the half as NU took a 3-2 advantage at the break.
Back-to-back goals out of the break put the Wildcats up 5-2 before Ashley Bruns wrapped around the crease to make it a two-goal game with 18:52 to play. Northwestern remained patient on the offensive end and recorded the final three goals of the game to seal the win.
Senior defender Sam Farrell (Millersville, Md.) stepped up for Florida on the defensive side, recording four caused turnovers and three ground balls.
Farrell, Meagher and senior midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) also earned spots on the All-Tournament team.
The Gators will learn their postseason fate and location for the NCAA Tournament at 9 p.m. on NCAA.com as the top eight seeds will host first round action beginning on May 10 & 12. Stay tuned to Twitter (@GatorZoneLax) and Facebook (Facebook.com/FloridaLacrosse) for up to the minute info on the NCAA Tournament selection show.