After leading for nearly all of its American Lacrosse Conference Tournament semifinal showdown with No. 8 Penn State, No. 4 Northwestern nearly saw its hopes for a return to the tournament title game evaporate as the Nittany Lions had a chance to break an 8-8 tie in the final minute of regulation. But clutch plays by NU’s senior leaders down the stretch lifted the Wildcats to a 9-8 overtime win and clinched a berth for the ‘Cats in Sunday’s championship game against No. 2 Florida.
Returning national player of the year Taylor Thornton caused a turnover at the defensive end to deny Penn State at the end of regulation, while fellow senior co-captain Amanda Macaluso provided the game-winning goal by wrapping the crease to score with 45 seconds left in the first of two overtime periods.
Thornton — who finished with three caused turnovers on the evening — and Macaluso tied as Northwestern’s high scorers for the game with two goals apiece.
Senior Gabriella Flibotte helped NU control play with a career-high seven draw controls, including the first two in overtime. Flibotte also added a goal and a trio of caused turnovers and now claims sole possession of third on Northwestern’s single-season caused turnovers record list with 39.
The Wildcats advanced to the ALC Tournament title game for the seventh time in the seven-year history of the event and will look to reclaim the league championship from a Florida squad that broke NU’s five-year string of titles from 2007-11. Opening draw Sunday in Baltimore is set for 11 a.m. CT.
Friday marked the first overtime game and victory for Northwestern since a win over Ohio State at Gillette Stadium on March 31, 2012.
COVER STORY — New York Wizard: 2013 MLL Preview
Joe Spallina worked his magic in the offseason to assemble the new-look New York Lizards, oozing with talent and reflecting the Spallina brand of bravado. Plus, a team-by-team look at the Major League Lacrosse season.
By Mark Macyk and Corey McLaughlin
8 Teams on the Brink
Why the time has come for eight perennial NCAA tournament bridesmaids this spring. On the men’s side, it’s Maryland, Cornell, Notre Dame and Stevenson. For the women, North Carolina, Syracuse, Duke and Cortland.
By Matt DaSilva
Florida’s Super Seniors
It’s the last ride for Florida’s super seniors, the No. 1-rated recruiting class that coach Mandee O’Leary had two years to build. They’re looking to deliver on a few promises.
By Clare Lochary
Notre Dame’s Low-Key Keeper
John Kemp is an unimposing guy, but he brings a subtle swagger to South Bend. The Fighting Irish goalie sets the tone for the nation’s most formidable defense. Can Kemp take Notre Dame all the way?
By Gary Lambrecht
The U.S. National Teams Program is about more than just gold medals. Team USA gives young players the chance to interact with truly excellent players, who inspire greatness on and off the field.
By Lane Errington
Team USA’s Katrina Dowd just does things differently, from her style to her tape job to her shot. Johns Hopkins’ Rob Guida shares tips on split dodging and avoiding head games.
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Tagged 2013 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships, 2013 Women's Lacrosse Championships, Florida, Lacrosse Magazine, Major League Lacrosse, Men's Lacrosse, MLL, New York Lizards, Women's Lacrosse
As 13 seniors played their final regular-season home game, No. 3 Florida lacrosse rose to the challenge as it overwhelmed No. 4 Northwestern, 22-4, Saturday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. With the win, Florida shares a portion of the ALC title with the Wildcats, marking their third-consecutive regular season championship in their four-year history.
The Gators (16-1, 4-1 ALC) hand the two-time defending national champion Wildcats (13-2, 4-1 ALC) their most lopsided loss in program history on a flurry of goals, shooting 22-for-28 (.785) in front of a season-high 1,023 fans on a cold, rainy day in Gainesville. UF was led by sophomore midfielder Shannon Gilroy (Northport, N.Y.) who scored seven points (five goals, two assists) while six other Gators scored multiple goals.
“This group has worked so hard day in and day out and it’s just a testament to our seniors,” Head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “For them to come out and play the way they did and with the supporting cast, I thought it was just a great job by everyone today.”
Senior attack Gabi Weigand (Bay Shore, N.Y.) added five points (four goals, one assist) while senior midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) became the first Gator to record 200 career draw controls. Dashiell recorded a team-high seven draws for the second-consecutive game and paired it with a hat trick to help the Gators extend their home win streak to 18.
Senior attacks Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.) and Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) each had three goals while Cullen dished out two assists as Florida matched its season-high in goals with 22. Senior attack Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) and sophomore midfielder Nora Barry (Marcellus, N.Y.) each had two goals rounding out the scoring for the afternoon.
Florida got off to a quick start with Gilroy scoring just 30 seconds into the contest on a Gilroy goal. It was followed 31 seconds later by Wiegand to jump start the Gators offense for the afternoon. They would score five unanswered goals before Northwestern’s Taylor Thornton got on the board on a free position with 17:59 to play. Cullen and Bruns assisted by Barry scored back-to-back 11 seconds apart to respond putting their team up 8-1.
Fourth-ranked Northwestern takes its 11-game winning streak on the road this weekend, traveling to Gainesville, Fla. for a decisive American Lacrosse Conference matchup with No. 3 Florida. The ‘Cats, who sit atop the ALC standings with a 4-0 league mark, will look to wrap up the top seed in next month’s ALC Tournament with a road win over the Gators (3-1 ALC).
The only two champions in the history of the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament, Northwestern and Florida have staged several memorable battles in recent seasons, with the Gators taking a 3-2 edge in the all-time series thanks to two victories over NU last season. Florida nabbed an 8-7 win at Lakeside Field during the regular season before claiming its first conference crown with a 14-7 victory on its home field in the title game of the ALC Tournament.
• Florida is attempting to become only the second school to record a three-game winning streak against NU during Kelly Amonte Hiller’s tenure as head coach and the first since Vanderbilt managed to win three straight from 2002-04, NU’s first three years as a varsity program. The Wildcats, meanwhile, are in search of their first road win over the Gators (0-2 in Gainesville).
• Saturday promises to be an emotional day for many in attendance at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville as the Gators say goodbye to the lacrosse program’s first-ever four-year senior class. The highly accomplished class of 12 Florida seniors has helped the Gators go from a brand-new program in 2010 to a national semifinalist and a mainstay in the top-5 national rankings during their four years on campus. The date marks Florida’s regular-season finale, giving the Gators two weeks off before heading to the ALC Tournament in Baltimore May 2-5.
The second-ranked Florida Gators snapped Oregon’s four-game winning streak with a 13-5 victory on Saturday afternoon in Eugene.
The Gators improved the 11-0 with the win while the Ducks fell to 4-2.
Florida started the game off hot, scoring two goals in under five minutes. But with 21:27 to play in the opening half, Oregon’s Casey Brogan got the Ducks on the board with her second goal of the year.
However, the Gators would go on a 4-0 run to take a commanding 6-1 lead with 15:09 to go in the first. Each of Florida’s goals during the run were scored by a different player.
Shannon Propst and Nikki Puszcz helped the Ducks crawl back into the game over the next four minutes, though. At the 14:18 mark, Propst scored her eighth goal of the year off a pass from Puszcz and then returned the favor by dishing the ball off to Puszcz for a goal with 10:51 remaining in the half. Puszcz’s eighth goal of the year made it a 6-3 game.
But Florida regrouped after Puszcz’s goal and went on to score the next three goals thanks to Gabi Wiegand, Ashley Bruns and Brittany Dashiell, who posted a hat-trick in the first half, to take a 9-3 lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, Oregon used patient possessions to cut the Gator lead to five, 9-4, when Propst scored an unassisted goal at the 21:41 mark.
The Ducks could not pull within five the rest of the way.
The Oregon Ducks (4-1, 0-0 MPSF) host the second-ranked Florida Gators (10-0, 0-0 ALC) on Saturday afternoon at Papé Field. Match time is slated for 1 p.m.
Florida is the highest-ranked opponent the Ducks have faced since they traveled to Evanston, Ill., to play No. 1 Northwestern a season ago. In addition, the Gators are the highest-ranked team to travel to Eugene since April 15, 2011, when the Ducks hosted No. 7 Stanford.
Oregon enters Saturday’s showdown with Florida on a four-game winning streak. The Ducks won their third one-goal match of the season on March 8 when they defeated Davidson, 7-6. Oregon senior Kate Cathell scored three goals in the win. It was her third hat-trick of the season.
OREGON ALL-TIME VERSUS FLORIDA
The Ducks and Gators have met just once previously. On March 30, 2010, Florida defeated Oregon, 16-6, in Gainesville, Fla. Four active players started for Oregon that day (Dominique Christiansen, Maggie Kovacs, Bridget Morrison, Salliebeth Finnegan) but none recorded a point. Finnegan started in goal for the Ducks.
From Chapel Hill, to Jacksonville, and back to Gainesville the Florida Gators have gotten off to a great start in 2013. We’ll show you how they won at UNC, and introduce you to some of their biggest fans in this episode of Journey to the Top.
A short-form documentary giving an all-access look inside the University of Florida Men’s club Lacrosse 2012 fall ball season. The documentary briefly visits the history of the program, the importance of fall ball, and a feature on Head Coach Ryan Winters. The film then takes you into the preparation leading up to the annual Florida/FSU fall game and along with the team on gameday of the great state rivalry. Directed, filmed, and edited by Josh Lane. Musical credits are at the end of the film.