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Saturday May 18, 2013Syracuse Ends Florida's Season in NCAA Quarterfinals

Syracuse, N.Y.

No. 4 seed Syracuse outscored Florida, 9-5, in the final half and made it made the difference as they downed No. 5 seed Gators 13-9 in the NCAA quarterfinals at the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon.  Florida wraps up its season with a record of 18-3 and were the 2013 co-American Lacrosse Conference regular season champions.


With the game tied 4-4 at the break, Syracuse (18-3) outshot the Gators 17-12 in the final period while turnovers marred their postseason bid as they gave up 13 in the contest.


“Syracuse is a phenomenal team and all the credit in the world to them,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “They came out and played hard and credit their offense, but I think our defense played really hard and played their hearts out. I’m really proud of the effort they put forth today.”


Florida goalie Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) put together a solid performance in cage with a season-high 12 saves.  Three Gators scored multiple goals as senior attack Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) and sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.) led with two goals and each had an assist. Sophomore midfielder Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) also had two goals and two ground balls on the afternoon.


“I think Mikey did a phenomenal job,” O’Leary said. “She played her heart out today and we couldn’t have asked for more from what we got from her.”


Seniors Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) and Kayla Stolins (Glen Arm, Md.) each notched a team-high four draw controls as draws were an even 12-12 in the game.

Dashiell was also credited with an assist in the final game of the 2013 season. 


It was a classic battle between the two teams as Syracuse jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead before Cullen found Gilroy open with just under five minutes burned off the clock in the first half.


Farrell drew a charge on the defensive end, setting up Wiegand goal from Gilroy to tie the game at 2-2 at the 25:20 mark.  Dashiell dished to Barry with 16:44 to play to give the Orange and Blue their first lead of the day.


But back-to-back goals by Cross and Murray gave the Orange a 4-3 lead with 6:09 to play, but Cullen answered on an unassisted goal with 5:39 on the clock that sent both teams to the locker room in a 4-4 tie game.


Syracuse scored two quick goals out of the half as Barry answered the call as she netted an unassisted goal with 25:48 to play in the half. Cullen cut the lead back to two with an unassisted goal with 15:24 to play but SU’s Becca Block increased the lead to three with a quick goal a minute later. Senior Tewaaraton Award finalist Alyssa Murray increased the lead to 10-6 with 13:45 to play.


Gilroy’s goal with 7:38 on the clock cut the lead back down to four as both teams would score two goals each to end the contest.  Florida got its final two goals from senior attack Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) and sophomore attack Nicole Graziano (Mendham, N.J.). 


The game marked the final time in a Gator uniform for 13 seniors, 11 of which started with the program in 2010. O’Leary had nothing but praise for the trailblazers that launched UF into a national powerhouse.


“What will stick out to me is how these young women represented the University of Florida and they are classy young women,” O’Leary said. “They represented us in the best possible manner and will always hold a special place in my heart and everyone associated with Florida lacrosse; because they put us on the map.”


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