The No. 6 seed Florida Gators will face Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament. The Gators are coming off a 17-3 victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins, while Syracuse dominated Loyola 20-8. The game will be taking place on Saturday, May 22 at the SU Soccer Stadium in Syracuse, New York.
Head Coach Amanda O’Leary states that this year’s lacrosse team has been playing at a level that they haven’t seen in recent years. Both offensively and defensively, the Gators women’s lacrosse team has been a dominant force to reckon during the regular season.
O’Leary also mentions that the team has had very good practice leading up to this weekend. O’Leary says that the team knows when it is tournament time, as the team can sense the urgency and lock their focus in during practices.
A crucial strategy that O’Leary emphasis for the team is keeping possession of the ball. O’Leary states that the games come down to the first initial draw, who has the ball and playing as little defense when necessary.
“We are well prepared, we had a great season, we have moment going into this weekend and things are just kind of falling into place for us,” Amanda O’Leary said.
Syracuse’s lacrosse team is one of the top-ranked team’s in the country. Syracuse is great offensively as they have a lot of dynamic scorers on the team. Syracuse is also known for playing very aggressively on defense, something that the Gators haven’t seen before.
A former player of the Gators, Sydney Pirreca, is now an assistant coach for Syracuse. O’Leary worries this might be an advantage for Syracuse as Pirreca is a veteran when it comes to knowing the Gators lacrosse program.
A spot in the national semifinals on the line tomorrow!
— Syracuse Women's Lacrosse (@CuseWLAX) May 21, 2021
The winner of the quarterfinals matchup will face either Duke or Northwestern University in the semifinals on Friday.