Thursday May 1, 2014No. 3 Florida Meets No. 8 Johns Hopkins In ALC Semifinal
The No. 3 Florida Gators will begin their post-season journey on Friday at 5:30 p.m., when they face No. 8 Johns Hopkins in the semifinals of the ALC Tournament in Evanston, Ill. Florida is the No. 1 seed and earned a first-round bye, while Johns Hopkins is the No. 5 seed and defeated fourth-seeded Penn State, 13-10, on Thursday.
The Gators and the Blue Jays are fairly well-matched this season, with both teams featuring a Tewaaraton nominee and at least one ALC player of the year. Florida’s Shannon Gilroy is a 2014 Tewaaraton Nominee and the ALC Midfield Player of the Year. Sammi Burgess picked up another ALC award for the Gators, as the 2014 Rookie of the Year. Johns Hopkins’ Taylor D’Amore was named the ALC Offensive Player of the Year, as well as being named a nominee for the Tewaaraton Award.
When the two teams faced off in Baltimore earlier this season, Johns Hopkins led for most of the game, but Gilroy scored seven goals to lead the Florida rally in the second half. D’Amore led Johns Hopkins with four goals and three assists to tie Gilroy with a game-high seven points.
Familiar Faces on the Field
Several Gators will face former teammates when Florida plays Johns Hopkins on Friday. Cara Canington and Johns Hopkins’ Liz Johnson spent three years together at C. Milton Wright, helping their team to three regional finalist finishes. Sammi Burgess won two IAAM championships at McDonogh with JHU’s Jen Cook as a teammate. Krista Grabher also won a pair of state championships with a Blue Jay, playing for two years at Vero Beach with Olivia Long. Darcy Messina won two New York State Catholic League Championships while at St. Anthony’s with Kayley Henz. Mary-Sean Wilcox played with Kirsti Paavola at Notre Dame Prep, while Sam Darcangelo and Carly Ross played for Maryvale Prep with JHU’s Caroline Federico.
Gators Ranked High in NCAA Statistics
As the post-season begins, Shannon Gilroy and Florida continue to rank well in several NCAA statistical categories. In games through April 27, Gilroy leads the nation in goals (75), goals per game (4.41) and points per game (5.35), while ranking second in points (91). Goalie Cara Canington ranks 12th in save percentage (.478) and 20th in goals against average (8.31)
As a team, Florida ranks first in scoring offense (15.59), second in draw controls (16.29 per game), fourth in scoring margin (7.24), 7th in points (344), 14th in ground balls per game (18.59) and 20th in scoring defense (8.35). Additionally, the Gators lead the American Lacrosse Conference in points, draw controls, scoring margin, scoring offense, and ground balls per game.
Florida Earns Three ALC Yearly Awards; Puts four on All-Conference Teams
Shannon Gilroy is the American Lacrosse Conference Midfielder of the Year and Sammi Burgess picked up Rookie of the Year honors, as announced by the league on Tuesday. Additionally, head coach Amanda O’Leary was named the ALC Coach of the Year for the third time in four years.
Florida also placed four players on the All-Conference teams, as Nora Barry and Gilroy earned first-team nods and Caroline Fitzgerald and Burgess were named to the second team.
Gilroy has had a tremendous junior season and leads the NCAA in goals (75), goals per game (4.41) and points per game (5.35), while ranking second in points (91). She also leads the Gators in draw controls (72), caused turnovers (23) and assists (16). She has also picked up 19 ground balls this season and is 29-for-35 from the 8-meter. Gilroy has set or tied 9 program records this season.
Burgess has had an impressive freshman campaign, ranking second on the team with 45 points, 31 goals and 14 assists. She has also tallied 21 ground balls and 15 draw controls. Burgess capped the regular season by scoring a career-high four goals in each of the last two games. She also led the conference with four rookie of the week honors.
O’Leary, the 2011 and 2013 ALC Coach of the Year, led the Gators to their fourth consecutive ALC title and a top-seed in the ALC tournament. O’Leary has recorded a 78-20 record at Florida, including going 27-8 in the ALC.
Shannon Gilroy Named Tewaaraton Nominee
Shannon Gilroy has been named a 2014 Tewaaraton Award nominee, as announced by the Tewaaraton Foundation. The Tewaaraton Award honors the nation’s top male and female college lacrosse player.
Gilroy leads the nation with 75 goals and ranks second with 91 points, in addition to leading Florida with 72 draw controls and 23 caused turnovers. She has been named the ALC Offensive Player of the Week three times and is the only player in the league to be awarded the honor more than once this season. Highlighting the season, Gilroy set or tied three program single-game records in the win over High Point with 10 draw controls and eight goals off of 13 shots. She has set a total of nine program records this season. Gilroy was also a Tewaaraton nominee in 2013, after finishing the season leading Florida with 52 goals and 59 draw controls and ranking second with 65 points.
Live audio will be available for streaming via GatorZone, while video will be available through Northwestern and can be found here: http://www.nusports.com/allaccess/?media=445324.
Complete game notes can be found here: http://www.gatorzone.com/lacrosse/stats/notes/pre/20140502173000.pdf.
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