Saturday May 17, 2014Gators Fall to Wildcats in NCAA Quarterfinals
It was another one-goal thriller against the fifth-seeded Northwestern Wildcats, this time however, the No. 4 seed Florida lacrosse team was not the victor. The Wildcats outlasted the Gators for the first time this season to win 12-11 in overtime at Donald R. Dizney Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Florida surged to a 4-1 lead mid-way through the first half, but Northwestern began to show some life and fought back to take the lead 5-4 entering halftime. The Gators had a free-position attempt with 0.5 seconds left in the half, but it was ruled that the shot didnít hit the net before the buzzer sounded.
The Gators came out hot in the second stanza, taking another three-goal lead, this time 8-5 with 20:15 left in the game. The Wildcats then went on a 5-1 run that lasted 5:34 and put them on top, 10-9, with 14:16 on the clock. Florida went up 11-10 with 7:43 to play, but Northwestern tied the game for the sixth and final time at 11-11 with 4:51 left.
Neither team was able to score before the end of regulation, sending the third meeting between the teams to overtime. The Wildcats controlled the ball for almost the entire six-minute overtime period and took their only shot with 16 seconds left to go up 12-11. Florida came up with the draw control, but was unable to find the back of the net to force a second overtime period.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
∑ Lauren Lea led the Gators with a career-high-tying five points off two goals and three assists. She also grabbed a draw control.
∑ Shannon Gilroy scored three goals and added a ground ball, a caused turnover and a draw control. Gilroy ends the season tied as the UF single-season caused turnover leader with 24.Sam Farrell also had 24 caused turnovers in 2013.
∑ Nora Barry registered a goal, two ground balls and two draw controls. Barry is now Floridaís career leader in ground balls, with 124 total.
∑ Sammi Burgess tallied two goals, three ground balls and a caused turnover for Florida.
∑ Mollie Stevens notched a goal, a career-high four ground balls and a draw control for the Gators.
∑ Devon Schneider tied career highs of five ground balls, two assists and two caused turnovers. She also scored a goal.
∑ Sam Darcangelo recorded a goal, three draw controls and a ground ball.
∑ Krista Grabher caused a season-high two turnovers and also picked up a ground ball.
∑ Mary-Sean Wilcox grabbed a career-high four ground balls and added three saves.
Florida ends the season with an 18-3 record and Northwestern improves to 14-6.
Florida owns a 6-4 advantage in the series, including a 3-1 record in Gainesville.
"First of all, congratulations to Northwestern. They came out, competed hard -- they were the better team today. They came in with a good game plan, they're really well coached and give their players credit for executing.
"With that being said, I'm really proud of our seniors. What they brought to the table, and I told them in the locker room, their leadership, their love, their caring -- I'm sad for them because they gave so much to this program over the course of four years for Krista (Grabher), five for Cara (Canington). I wish we could have done more and moved on. Unfortunately that didn't happen today. A huge thank you to them for what they did for this program."
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.