No. 8/9 Florida Hands Marquette Women's Lax 16-5 Setback
April 8, 2015
MILWAUKEE -- The Marquette University women's lacrosse team welcomed No. 8/9-ranked University of Florida to the friendly confines of Valley Fields and came up a little bit short as the visiting Gators used a valiant effort to register their fourth-straight win with a 16-5 result Wednesday afternoon, April 8.
"I felt like we fought hard with them," head coach Meredith Black said. "We definitely were in the game in the beginning, which I was proud of. I don't think we finished the play enough. We caused some turnovers and I think we had some good opportunities, but we weren't able to put the ball in the back of the net to finish some key plays."
Marquette (4-9, 0-3 BIG EAST) had an answer for the high-powered Florida (10-4, 4-0 BIG EAST) offense early on, responding to a game-opening score by the Gators' Devon Schneider with back-to-back goals less than a minute apart by Julianna Shearer and Taylor Smith to give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 advantage with 27:58 left in the first half.
But with the score tied at 3-3, Florida's potent attack finally shone through with six-straight goals to take a 9-3 advantage. The third-leading offense in all of NCAA Division I then tacked on five consecutive goals for good measure to close out the contest.
Florida's Shannon Gilroy extended her nation-leading goals total to 52 with four goals on 10 shots. She added an assist as well to finish the day with five points, bringing her season total to 70, which also leads the country. Devon Schneider added a hat trick, while Caroline Fitzgerald, Nora Barry and Mollie Stevens each added two scores each in the win.
"Leading up to it, we gave ourselves some opportunities," Black said. "So I'm proud of the effort we gave and we took care of the ball. We only had 11 turnovers, which is a small amount for our team."
MU committed just six miscues in the first half, but the opportunistic and veteran Florida squad took full advantage on a few occasions, attacking in transition and turning them into goals at the other end.
On paper, it looks like a double-digit loss for Marquette, but the 16 goals allowed were the second-fewest scored by the Gators among their 10 wins this season. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles were just 1-for-6 in free position opportunities, while Florida was an efficient 7-for-10.
The Gators held the advantage in shots, 29-21, including 22-15 in shots on goal. Marquette narrowly lost the ground-balls battle by a 15-14 margin, while Florida took 14-of-23 draw controls. Defensively, the Golden Eagles caused seven turnovers with three being credited to junior Elizabeth Goslee, who added four ground balls as well.
Marquette now looks ahead to Temple, who jumped out to an 8-1 record to start the season before dropping its last two games and entered Wednesday with an 8-3 mark, including an 0-2 record in conference play. As is often the case in the BIG EAST, any game on the road is tough and Saturday in Philadelphia will be no exception, but head coach Meredith Black is happy with what she sees entering their tilt against the Owls.
"We're making strides and doing the right things," Black said in relation to taking the next step forward as a program. "If we can continue to take care of the ball this weekend (at Temple), that's going to be key to our success, in addition to finishing our opportunities. If we play with the same intensity that we played with today, I think we'll be in good shape."
Saturday's contest is set for 11 a.m. Central time and live video and stats links can be found via OwlSports.com
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