Northwestern Wildcats' Samantha Smith (19) and Florida Gators' Liz Harrison (6) take the draw during the NCAA Div. 1 women's lacrosse semifinal Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park. [Jeffrey Camarati-USA TODAY Sports]

Florida Lacrosse Falls Short In National Semifinals

Unseeded Florida’s magical lacrosse season came to an end Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

And it took defending champion and top-seeded Northwestern to end it for the Gators with a 15-11 win in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship semifinal. The Wildcats (18-2) outscored Florida 5-2 in the fourth quarter to advance to Sunday’s championship match against Boston College (19-3), which defeated Syracuse 10-7 in Friday’s other semifinal.

The Gators (20-3), seeking to advance to their first title game in their second semifinal match since the first one in 2012, also saw their 20-match winning streak come to a close.

Florida scored first on a goal by Danielle Pavinelli and, after Northwestern tied it at 1-1, Maggi Hall gave UF its last lead of the match 2-1 at the 5:06 mark of the first quarter.

Northwestern again tied the match at 2-2. From there, UF could manage four ties before the final quarter.

A 55-minute weather delay at the start of the fourth quarter seemed to give Northwestern momentum coming back on the field.

The Wildcats led 3-2 after the first quarter, 7-6 at halftime and 10-9 after three quarters.

Hall notched a first-half hat-trick, including two goals in the second quarter, to keep Florida in the game. She finished with five goals, while Pavinelli had three goals and two assists. Madison Waters, Ashley Gonzalez and Gianna Monaco each scored one for the Gators.

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