Fifth-Ranked Florida Knocks off Top-Ranked Northwestern

At 24:51, Shannon Smith scored the first Wildcat goal, assisted by Casey Bocklet, and a minute and a half later, Taylor Thornton netted a free-position goal to tie the score at two.

The score wasn't tied for long, as Kitty Cullen snagged the next draw out of mid-air and drove right into the goal to put UF back on top just nine seconds later. Gabi Wiegand extended the lead back to two on a free-position goal, and after a 16-minute scoring drought, Wiegand found Dashiell making a cut across the arc to head into intermission riding a 5-2 lead.

The Wildcats emerged from the locker room a new team, scoring three goals in a 57-second span to tie the score at five. Erin Fitzgerald netted back-to-back free-position goals 40 seconds apart, and Filbotte knotted the score on an unassisted drive off the draw.

A foul inside the 8-meter arc on Northwestern's defensive end put the ball in Nora Barry's hand, who sent a quick pass to Bruns left of the crease, which she netted on a crossing shot to put the Gators back in front, 6-5.

Northwestern mimicked UF's free position play twice over the next five minutes, and at 20:51, Fitzgerald found Smith on an 8-meter attempt to hand the 'Cats their first lead of the day, up 7-6.

The Wildcats were in front for just 57 seconds, when Nicole Graziano connected with Nora Barry from the left side of the fan at 19:54, to tie the score once again, 7-7.

The game remained tied for a nail-biting 14 minutes, but with 5:47 to play, Gabi Wiegand drove into the arc and found the top-left corner of the net to give the Gators an 8-7 advantage.

NU controlled the ensuing draw, but after a Smith shot sailed wide, Sam Farrell created a huge turnover to put the ball back in Florida's possession. The Gators were unable to run out the rest of the clock, as NU regained possession twice more before the final whistle blew. However, the Florida defense held the 'Cats without a shot for the remainder of the game, to bring ALC regular-season title back to Gainesville for the second-straight year with a final score of 8-7.

Today's game marked the final game of Florida's regular season. The Gators will have a week off and then return to action on Friday, May 4, in the ALC Semifinals, hosted by the Gators in Gainesville. UF will play the winner of the quarterfinal game between the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams who are yet to be determined. Live video of the entire ALC Tournament will be streamed free of charge for all fans courtesy of GatorVision.

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