No. 2 Florida (16-1, 4-1 ALC) lacrosse will begin post-season play Friday afternoon when it takes on Ohio State (7-9, 1-4 ALC) in the semifinals of the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The Gators earned the number one seed and a first round bye in the tournament for the second consecutive year after defeating Northwestern in its regular season finale. As the tournament’s fifth seed, the Buckeyes had to play their way through the quarterfinals, defeating fourth seeded Johns Hopkins 10-9 on Thursday.
Florida defeated Ohio State 13-7 in the regular season meeting between the two squads on March 23rd at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. While the Gators will not be in Gainesville for Friday’s match up with the Buckeyes, Florida head coach Amanda O’Leary says the contest is almost like a home game as 16 of the players on her roster are from the state of Maryland.
The Gators have not played since April 20th when they beat Northwestern 22-4, and they did not know for certain who their first opponent in the ALC tournament would be until Thursday night. However, Florida senior midfielder Brittany Dashiell does not think the team will miss a beat and says it was well prepared to face either Ohio State or Johns Hopkins.
Ohio State is led by sophomore attacker Jackie Cifarelli and junior midfielder Cara Facchina who have 61 and 51 points on the season respectively. Those two should have their hands full on Friday as they will face a Gator defense that ranks near the top of the nation giving up less than seven goals per game.
Opening draw from Baltimore is set for 4.