The No. 2 Florida (14-2) lacrosse team had a chance to take the nation’s top spot Sunday with No. 1 Maryland falling to Dartmouth, but the Gators couldn’t capitalize as they fell 9-6 to Cornell (6-8) in New York.
The loss snapped a 14-game winning streak on Cornell’s senior day. For Cornell, the win over Florida was their first ever against a top-five opponent.
Sophomore midfielder Janine Hillier led the Gators with a career-high-tying three goals, scoring on every shot she took. She also chipped in two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
The Gators also got a goal from Tewaaraton nominee Kitty Cullen, playing in her first complete game since returning from injury.
Sophomore attacker Ashley Bruns and sophomore midfielder Brittany Dashiell also scored.
Florida sophomore goalkeeper Mikey Meagher had 10 saves for her third double-digit save game this season.
In the best game of her career, freshman midfielder Kelsey Dlugos had six draw controls against the Big Red, tying the school record Dashiell set twice last season.
The Gators reclaimed their rhythm in the center, notching 11 draw controls to the Big Red’s five. Dlugos played a huge role, as she was a crucial part of all 11 draw controls possessed by the Gators.
Turnovers were Florida’s Achilles heel, as the Gators couldn’t establish momentum throughout the game due to 15 turnovers and 20 fouls. Florida was outshot for the first time all season, 20-24.
The Gators were only able to score back-to-back goals once Sunday, when Hillier scored twice at the 35:37 and 37:00 marks in the second half.
Florida was down by as many as four goals twice, and the Gators went into halftime with a 2-6 deficit.
They trailed 3-7 on Jessi Steinberg’s third goal with 25:37 remaining in the contest. Florida was able to cut Cornell’s lead to two twice, following goals by Hillier and Cullen.
But it wasn’t enough for the Gators to overcome the Big Red’s emotion and determination on senior day.
Florida now has to regroup and get ready for the American Lacrosse Conference
Tournament, hosted by Vanderbilt.
The Gators enter the tournament as the top seed with a perfect 5-0 conference record. Florida has a first-round bye and will play the winner of Ohio State and Vanderbilt on Friday at