Ithaca, N.Y. – The No. 2 Florida lacrosse team saw their 14-game win streak come to an end on Sunday afternoon, falling to Cornell, 6-9, on the Big Redâ€™s Senior Day. The Gators are now 14-2 and the Big Red move to 6-8, having defeated their first top-five opponent in program history.Â
Florida was led by sophomore midfielder Janine Hillier (Farmingdale, N.Y.) with a career-high-tying three goals on the afternoon, scoring on every shot she took. Hillier also added two ground balls and two caused turnovers. The Gators also saw goals from Tewaaraton nominee Kitty Cullen (Rockville, Md.), playing in her first complete game since returning from injury, sophomore attacker Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) and sophomore midfielder Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.). Sophomore goalkeeper Mikey Meagher (Liverpool, N.Y.) had 10 saves for her third double-digit save performance of the season.
In the game of her career, freshman midfielder Kelsey Dlugos (Commack, N.Y.) 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 Redâ€™s five. Dlugos had a big part in that, as she was a crucial part of all 11 draw controls possessed by the Gators.
Turnovers were the Gatorsâ€™ downfall, as the Orange and Blue could not seem to find momentum throughout the game, turning the ball over 15 times while also adding 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 afternoon, courtesy of Hillierâ€™s goals at the 35:37 and 37:00 marks in the second half. Florida was down by as much as four goals twice, as the Gators went into halftime with a 2-6 deficit and then found themselves down 3-7 on Jessi Steinbergâ€™s third goal with 25:37 remaining in the contest. The Orange and Blue were able to cut Cornellâ€™s lead to two twice, thanks to goals by Hillier and Cullen. It wasnâ€™t enough, however, as the Big Red played with determination on their Senior Day.
The Gators now turn their focus to the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament, hosted by Vanderbilt University, as they are the No. 1 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, May 6th at 3:00 p.m. CST.