Florida, Northwestern meet for ALC tourney title


Shannon Gilroy and the Florida lacrosse team face a tough Northwestern program in Sunday's ALC tournament title game.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.

EVANSTON, Ill. — The stage is set for a familiar scene here at noon Sunday when Florida and Northwestern meet for the ALC Championship game. The teams met just two weeks ago at Lakeside Field as Florida sought to finish the regular season undefeated in the league and clinch the regular-season title. Then, the Gators were ranked No. 4 and the Wildcats were No. 5.

This time, Florida (16-2) sits at No. 3 and Northwestern (12-5) has maintained its No. 5 spot. Sunday, the teams are vying for a championship — the last ALC Tournament Championship.

The rivalry between the Gators and the Wildcats has become perhaps the biggest rivalry in the ALC, as the two have met in the championship game every year since 2011. Florida is the only team other than Northwestern to win the ALC tournament, doing so by defeating the Wildcats 14-7 in 2012.

Florida owns a 5-3 advantage over Northwestern in the series, which includes a 2-1 record in Evanston. Two weeks ago, the Gators were able to outlast the Wildcats, 13-12. Florida had worked its way to an 11-5 advantage with less than 20 minutes to play, but Northwestern began to chip away at the Gator lead, culminating with the game-tying goal from Kara Mupo with 14 seconds left in the game. To Florida’s advantage, the goal was called off due to a crease violation and the Gators held on to the ball and the win as the clock dwindled down.

Last season, the Gators won the regular season contest, 22-4, in the Wildcat’s most lopsided loss since 2002. Northwestern answered with a win over Florida in the ALC tournament title game, claiming its sixth tournament title in seven years.

The NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Committee will reveal the 26-team field for the NCAA tournament beginning at 9 p. m. Sunday. The selection show will be aired live on NCAA.com. This year, 13 conference automatic bids will be awarded.

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