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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
<p>Shannon Gilroy fights for a draw control during Florida's 14-13 overtime loss to Syracuse on Tuesday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.</p>

Shannon Gilroy fights for a draw control during Florida's 14-13 overtime loss to Syracuse on Tuesday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

In Florida’s second game of the season against a top-10 opponent, the Gators couldn’t hang on long enough.

No. 6 Florida (6-2) fell to No. 5 Syracuse (6-2) 14-13 in overtime on Tuesday night at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Both teams went back and forth all night, but the Orange proved to be the better side when it mattered – at the end of the game.

With just under three minutes remaining, Florida led 13-12 and was attempting to stall and run the clock for as long as it could.

When redshirt junior Nicole Graziano received a yellow card with 1:51 left in regulation, the Gators were unable to fight off Syracuse’s attack and the Orange tied the game at the 1:14 mark, leading to an eventual victorious overtime for Syracuse.

"I think things that we need to take from this game is the fact that we can compete with the top teams in the country, but we need to finish," coach Amanda O’Leary said following the loss. "We’re man up with a man advantage and we can’t stall the ball out, and that’s just unacceptable. That’s something that we need to be better at that there’s no excuse for."

Florida’s first lead in the game came on senior Shannon Gilroy’s fourth goal of the match, giving the Gators an 11-10 advantage with 18:15 remaining in regulation. From that point on, neither led by more than one goal.

Gilroy finished with four goals on eight shots while Nora Barry, Carly Ross and Shayna Pirreca each added two goals for the Gators.

Barry also contributed a team-high five draw controls.

In the end, though, it wasn’t enough to stop the Orange.

"At the end, there was a game plan and we didn’t portray that game plan," Gilroy said. "We need to do a better job of listening to our coaches because they’re here for us, they know what’s best, and clearly we don’t all the time."

A bright spot on defense for Florida was the job that junior Sam Darcangelo did defending Syracuse’s Kayla Treanor, one of the nation’s top scoring threats.

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Treanor was held to no goals and just one assist, but the rest of the Orange’s offense filled her void.

Kelly Cross led the way with a team-high four goals for Syracuse, including the game-winner with 2:13 left in the overtime period.

This was the third time in the seven game series that a game between Florida and Syracuse has gone to overtime. Syracuse has now won all three. The Gators were visibly upset following the loss, knowing that the game was right there for them to take.

UF led 13-12 for 11 of the last 12 minutes of the game. That final minute proved to be the difference. They missed it by that much. And now Florida faces No. 1, defending national champion Maryland on Saturday.

"We’re pretty defeated right now," Darcangelo said, "but we’re gonna move past it, watch film and we’re gonna step it up for Maryland."

Follow Alex Maminakis on Twitter @alexmaminakis

Shannon Gilroy fights for a draw control during Florida's 14-13 overtime loss to Syracuse on Tuesday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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