Florida's lacrosse program was one of the brightest parts of Florida's athletic array this spring, downing perennial power Northwestern and establishing a slew of program firsts. But today, the Gators' second season of lacrosse and first NCAA Tournament run was ended by a 13-9 loss to Duke in the NCAA Quarterfinals at Dizney Stadium.
American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year Kitty Cullen helped the Gators strike quickly by scoring the first goal of the game in its first three minutes. Unfortunately, that would be the last time the Gators led: Duke controlled much of the first half, and led 7-4 during the second half before a Florida rally. The Gators came back to tie the game at 9-9 after ALC Second Teamer Janine Hillier scored back-to-back goals (and the last goal of the game for the Gators). Cullen, Hillier, and Caroline Chesterman each scored two goals against the Blue Devils and goalie Mikey Meagher, also a member of the ALC Second Team, totalled five saves.
The Gators, led by ALC Coach of the Year Amanda O'Leary, finished the season with an overall record of 16-4 and went undefeated in the ALC (5-0), earning the right to host the first two NCAA Tournament games in program history after beating Stanford at Dizney Stadium last Saturday. Duke advances to the NCAA Semifinals and will face Maryland in Stony Brook, New York.