March 24, 2012

Rookies Lead Florida Past Ohio State

from press release

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Gator freshmen Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) and Shannon Gilroy (Huntingdon, N.Y.) combined for seven points this afternoon to help lead Florida past Ohio State, 10-8, in the 2012 American Lacrosse Conference opener. Florida has now won its past six conference games, going undefeated in ALC play since the start of 2011. The win lifts UF to 10-2 (1-0 ALC), while OSU drops to 7-2 (0-1 ALC).

Barry led the Gators with four goals on the day, and Gilroy tallied two goals and an assist. Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) collected Florida’s remaining two assists, and Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.), Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.), Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) and Gabi Wiegand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) each scored a goal apiece.

On the defensive end, Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) earned her seventh win of the season, recording seven saves in the complete game while tallying a career-high and team-season-high six ground balls. Jamie Reeg (Atlantis, Fla.) snagged four ground balls and caused two turnovers, and Dashiell added three more ground balls.

In the midfield, Gilroy led the Gators with five draw controls, and Cullen tied her career high with three.

Kirsten Donahue was tops on the Buckeyes with four goals in the game, and Jackie Cifarelli recorded two goals and two assists. Freshman Tori DeScenza made nine saves in the complete game and added a team-high five ground balls.

Jackie Cifarelli opened the scoring for the Buckeyes at 26:30, scoring a wraparound goal from the left side. Caroline Chesterman responded for the Gators, working a spin move from behind the net at 21:16 to tie the score at one.

Less than a minute later, Ashley Bruns gave the Gators their first lead, netting a bouncer from the left side.

On the Gators’ next possession, Bruns looked for her second goal of the afternoon, but her shot was saved by DeScenza. The ball ricocheted off DeScenza’s stick outside the 8-meter arc where Nora Barry was ready for the rebound. Barry fired across to Shannon Gilroy up top, who drove through a triple team and laced in her first-ever ALC goal to put UF up, 3-1.

The Buckeyes kept the pressure on, and just under two minutes later, Kirsten Donahue put one in the top corner of the net, glancing off the crossbar and just barely crossing the plane to cut the Gators’ lead in half. Katie Chase then tied the game on a free-position goal at 14:18, knotting the score at three.

A foul on Kelsey Heine just outside the arc gave Cullen an open opportunity out front. Cullen flipped to Barry on the restart whistle, who took one step and laced in her first career conference goal to regain the Gators’ lead, 4-3, at 10:37, which would become the final goal of the half.

After a 15-minute scoring drought, Barry found the back of the net for a second time, netting a free-position goal at 25:01 in the second half. Alayna Markwordt found Kirsten Donahue just over two minutes later to cut UF’s lead back to one, but Barry responded with back-to-back goals to put Florida out in front, 7-4.

Ashley Bruns went to the bench at 15:56 with a yellow card, and Donahue took advantage within nine seconds, scoring a man-up goal.

Shannon Gilroy then shot in her second of the day to regain the Gators’ three-goal lead, 8-5.

Jackie Cifarelli found Donahue again at 9:35, but a free-position goal by Gabi Wiegand put the Gators back up three, and a Cullen-to-Dashiell score at 6:54 gave Florida its largest lead of the game, ahead 10-6.

The Buckeyes were not ready to call it a day yet, as Donahue and Cifarelli each mustered a tally over the next two minutes, but the Gators maintained possession through the majority of the final four minutes to earn their sixth-straight ALC victory by a final score of 10-8.

The Gators return home on Wednesday night to host Fresno State in their final non-conference matchup of the season. Opening draw is set for 6:30 p.m.

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