Northwestern runs past Florida

Northwestern's Taylor Thornton (9) moves the ball against the Florida defense.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer/FILE
Published: Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.

No. 2 Florida (17-2) had no answer for No. 4 Northwestern as it fell in the American Lacrosse Conference title game, 8-3, at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md. The loss may have hurt the Gators in the NCAA Tournament seeding later in the day.

Florida received the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host Jacksonville and Denver in the first and second rounds Friday and Sunday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Florida earned a bye in the first round and will face the winner of the Dolphins and Pioneers matchup at noon Sunday. The top six seeds receive first round-byes to automatically advance to the second round.

Maryland (19-0) received the No. 1 seed, with Northwestern, North Carolina (14-3) and Syracuse (16-3) grabbing the first four seeds. Florida had wins over the Wildcats, Tar Heels and Orange this season. Georgetown earned the final bye in the tournament as the six seed.

Three different Gators scored and senior goalie Mikey Meagher stopped six shots Sunday, but it wasn't enough as Northwestern (17-2) outshot UF 24-9 with the difference makers coming on draws. The Wildcats powered over the Gators on the draw 10-3 and won all six draws in the first half.

It was a much different contest than two weeks ago in Gainesville where Florida overwhelmed Northwestern 22-4, as it produced its lowest scoring total of the season on Sunday.

“I have to give credit to Northwestern for coming in with a great game plan, and they were the better team today,” UF coach Amanda O'Leary said. “We knew possession was going to be a big part of this game and they just dominated on the draws. So we go back to the drawing board to see where we need to improve, and there is a whole postseason yet to be played.”

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