No. 3 Florida Rallies to Edge Northwestern for ALC Crown

Evanston, Ill. The No. 3 Florida lacrosse team outscored Northwestern 7-1 in the second half to overcome a 7-2 halftime deficit and defeat the No. 5 Northwestern Wildcats, 9-8, in the last-ever American Lacrosse Conference tournament at Lakeside Field on Sunday afternoon.

The Gators placed four players on the ALC All-Tournament Team, including MVP Shannon Gilroy. With the win, Florida has earned an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.

The teams traded goals for the first 16 minutes, resulting in a 2-2 tie before Northwestern closed out the first half with five straight goals to go up 7-2 entering the break. The Gators came out strong in the second half and turned the tables on the Wildcats to take over the momentum of the game.

Florida methodically began to chip away at the Northwestern lead, much as the Wildcats did two weeks ago. The Gators tied the game for the third time, 8-8, with 9:50 on the clock when Mollie Stevens fired one in the net from the 8-meter line. A couple of miscues from each team kept the score from moving and gave the Gators the ball with 2:30 remaining.

Florida ran a stall for about two minutes, before putting the ball in the stick of junior Nora Barry. Barry dodged more than one Wildcat before finding the back of the net for the first and only time of the day, putting the Gators up 9-8 with 32 seconds left in the game. Florida came up with the final draw and kept the ball away from Northwestern until the buzzer sounded.

Numbers of Note
Florida rallied from a 7-2 deficit; the largest overcome in program history.

Nora Barry, Taylor Bresnahan and Mary-Sean Wilcox were all named to the ALC All-Tournament Team, while Shannon Gilroy was named the ALC Tournament MVP.

Lauren Lea and Sammi Burgess both scored two goals, all from the 8-meter. Burgess also grabbed a draw control.

Shannon Gilroy recorded a goal, an assist, two draw controls and a ground ball.

Mollie Stevens tallied two goals, a draw control and a caused turnover.

Nora Barry notched a goal, an assist, three ground balls and a caused turnover.

Devon Schneider scored a goal and picked up a ground ball.

Florida moves to 17-2 on the season, while Northwestern is now 12-6.

Series Update
Florida now owns a 6-3 advantage in the series, including a 3-1 record in Evanston.

Mandee's Minute
"It was a total team effort, to come back in the second half like that. From the enthusiasm on the sidelines to the play on the field, I couldn't have asked for anything more. Mary-Sean (Wilcox) did a great job in the goal cage and made some adjustments in the second half. We made some adjustments, offensively and defensively, in the second half and I'm really proud of how the team executed those."

Next up, the Gators will play in the NCAA Tournament and will learn their seeding during the NCAA selection show.


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