The No.4 Florida Gator lacrosse team (14-2, 5-0) defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 14-9 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium Sunday, taking home a share of the American Lacrosse Conference regular season championship. The Gators also celebrated Senior Day, recognizing redshirt senior goalie Cara Canington and senior defender Krista Grabher in a post-game ceremony.
“I credit Vanderbilt for a really great, well-executed game plan,” Gators head coach Amanda O’Leary said. “Those kids fought hard and I thought our team came out and competed, and got the goals when they needed to get them.”
It was also a record-setting day for the Gators, with junior midfielder Shannon Gilroy becoming the single-season points leader with 88 points on the season, breaking the record set by Kitty Cullen in 2011. Gilroy posted four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the game against the Commodores.
“They (Vanderbilt) came out very strong. We prepared for them the best we could, and I thought we did that very well during the first half, especially in the beginning of it,” Gilroy said. “In the second half, we kind of slipped up a little bit, but we pulled it in at halftime and we were able to come back and play our game.”
Freshman attacker Sammi Burgess led the Gators with five points, including a career-high four goals.
“We challenged Sammi to get better. She had struggled a little bit, but she put in some extra work this week,” O’Leary said. “I thought today she performed tremendously.”
With the win, the Gators are now on a six game winning streak and have won 28 straight at home.
“It’s important for us to be confident. We are such a young team, and we’ve only lost two games and that’s huge,” Burgess said. “I don’t think anyone expected us to come out with only two losses with one game left in our season. We should have confidence, and when we play with confidence, we play better.”
The Gators will head to Evanston, Illinois for their final game of the season to take on conference opponent Northwestern this Saturday.
Click below to hear from Head Coach Amanda O’Leary:
Click below to hear from Shannon Gilroy:
Click below to hear from Sammi Burgess: