Host UF ready for ALC tourney


Florida is the top seed in this year's American Lacrosse Conference Tournament.

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Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 30, 2012 at 11:45 p.m.

Host Florida will welcome five other teams to this week's American Lacrosse Conference Tournament at Dizney Stadium.

And while the rest of the field is preparing for a high level of competition, they also are concerned with adjusting to the elements as well.

With temperatures forecast in the low 90s for Gainesville later this week, heat and humidity could become a factor for a number of teams traveling down from the Northeast and Midwest.

Penn State coach Missy Doherty said her team will fly down Wednesday and practice to get used to the conditions. The Nittany Lions open ALC Tournament play Thursday against Johns Hopkins

“We were there just a couple of weeks ago because we played Florida at Florida,” Doherty said. “So you adjust to the conditions pretty quickly. With lacrosse, the weather is across the board, it could be snow one day and super hot the next day. So lacrosse weather, you're pretty ready to adjust fairly quickly.”

Johns Hopkins coach Janine Tucker said her team already is drinking plenty of fluids in preparation for the trip to Florida. Tucker said one of Johns Hopkins' players had to be treated for dehydration last season.

“It's just a part of the game and it's something that we're preparing for and can't really let it be a distraction,” Tucker said.

Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said her team isn't doing anything extra to prepare for the elements.

“Probably every team is trying to hydrate, trying to be ready,” Amonte Hiller said. “Hopefully our preparation will come into play with all the games we play. We've played Friday-Sunday games against quality opponents. I think that preparation will help us this weekend.”

Florida coach Amanda O'Leary said the elements could give the Gators an edge. The top-seed Gators have a bye Thursday and will play Friday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Ohio State and Vanderbilt.

“We're hoping for the hotter, the better,” O'Leary said. “It is what it is down here … so I think the ability to play in these conditions certainly provides us with a home-field advantage just because of the heat and humidity.”

Florida also is taking its share of safety precautions for the tournament in case the heat and humidity create health problems for players and/or fans. Doctors and paramedics will be on site at Dizney Stadium for all six games. In addition, there will be plenty of fluids available for all athletes. The school also is considering having a misting tent on site to keep athletes cool before, during and after games.

Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or brockwk@gvillesun.com. Also check out Brockway's blog at Gatorsports.com

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