UF lacrosse a No. 4 seed in NCAAs

Florida head coach Amanda O'Leary has her team in the NCAA Tournament in only its second year. O'Leary was also named the ALC Coach of the Year.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 11:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 11:53 p.m.

Florida will play host to Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed on Saturday at 1 p.m.

This is the Gators' first NCAA Tournament appearance in just its second year as a program. Florida is one of three newcomers to the NCAA Tournament, as Boston College and Albany also received bids for the first time. Both Boston College and Albany's programs began in 1992, marking 19 years from inception to their first NCAA appearance. Each of the three sports Florida has added since 1995 have earned NCAA berths in their second year of play: Lacrosse (2011), softball (1998) and soccer (1996).

“We're really excited,” ALC Coach of the Year Amanda O'Leary said. “It's a great opportunity. For such a young program to be seeded fourth in the NCAA Tournament is such an accomplishment and I'm so proud of these young ladies and what they've done this season to earn this berth.”

The Gators are coming off their first ALC Championship game appearance, as they fell to second-seeded Northwestern. Florida is led by ALC Player of the Year and Tewaaraton nominee Kitty Cullen, who has 79 points on the year (71 goals, 8 assists). The Gators are the 14th-ranked offense in the nation, averaging 13.72 goals per game.

The Gators will be one of eight teams to play at home in the 16-team first round field, with the chance of hosting a second round game if Florida makes it past the Cardinal. The winner of this game will face the winner of Duke and Penn, who play on Sunday at 2 p.m.

“It's such an advantage to be able to play at home,” Gator co-captain Caroline Cochran said.

“We love playing at home. We've been really successful here and we have such a great fan base and that's really going to help us.”

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