Saturday April 19, 2014Gators Win ALC Title Outright, Outlast Wildcats 13-12
The No. 4 Florida lacrosse team finished the season undefeated in the American Lacrosse Conference to win its fourth consecutive ALC title and first outright since 2012 after surviving a late run by No. 5 Northwestern on Saturday at Lakeside Field. Freshman attack Sammi Burgess scored a career-high-tying four goals to lead the Gators past the Wildcats.
Florida took an early 3-0 lead just 7:50 into the game, eventually working to a 7-4 lead before halftime. The Gators came out strong in the second stanza as well, going up 11-5 with 17:25 left in the game. Northwestern then methodically starting chipping away at Florida’s lead, scoring three goals in three and a half minutes to move the score to 11-8 with 13:46 to play.
The Wildcats went on to score four of the final six goals, cutting the Gators’ lead to 13-12 with 2:09 on the clock. With 14 seconds left, Northwestern’s Kara Mupo found the back of the net to tie the game, but the goal was called off due to a crease violation. After that, Florida held on to the ball and the win as the clock dwindled down.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
· Sammi Burgess scored a career-high four goals, tying her output from the Vanderbilt game. She also recorded an assist to total five points and added two ground balls and a draw control.
· Taylor Bresnahan picked up a career-high five ground balls, while also tallying two caused turnovers and a draw control.
· Devon Schneider scored three goals, tied her career high of two caused turnovers and grabbed a ground ball.
· Shannon Gilroy grabbed three draw controls to tie Brittany Dashiell as the career leader with 214 draw controls. Gilroy also notched two goals, an assist and a caused turnover.
· Nora Barry scored two goals and added an assist to total 3 points. She also recorded two ground balls and two draw controls.
· Lauren Lea tallied a goal, an assist, a ground ball and a caused turnover.
· Sam Darcangelo rounded out the scoring with a goal. She also recorded three draw controls, two ground balls and a caused turnover.
Florida improves to 15-2 on the season and 6-0 in the ALC, while Northwestern falls to 9-5 for the year and 3-3 in the conference.
Florida now owns a 5-3 advantage in the series, including a 2-1 record in Evanston.
“It has been a wonderful ride this season and I credit our players for that. They just work so hard each and every day. Often times, people just counted us out after losing so many seniors last year. I think this team just took it upon themselves to make sure they upheld that Florida lacrosse tradition of success. I think our coaching staff of Erica LaGrow and Michelle Tumolo did a tremendous job, as did our support staff of Karin Werth and Connie Andrews. It’s a total team effort and it all came together. I’m really, really proud of this group.”
The Gators will return to action during the ALC tournament May 1-4 in Evanston, Ill. Florida is the No. 1 seed for the tournament, securing a first-round bye. The Gators will play in the semifinal game on Friday, May 2, at 4:30 p.m. Florida will face the winner of game 1 between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds.
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