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Sunday, November 28, 2021
<p>Shannon Gilroy runs down the field during Florida's 14-13 overtime loss to Syracuse on March 10 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.</p>

Shannon Gilroy runs down the field during Florida's 14-13 overtime loss to Syracuse on March 10 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

In its first season as a member of the Big East, Florida is asserting itself as one of the conference’s frontrunners.

The Gators improved to 2-0 in conference play on Saturday as No. 10 Florida (8-4, 2-0 Big East) defeated Temple (8-2, 0-1 Big East) 17-3 in the Gators’ first-ever trip to Philadelphia.

Florida has now outscored its first two conference opponents 36-13 – the Gators defeated Vanderbilt last Sunday in the Big East opener. Against Temple, Florida registered a season-high 40 shot attempts while holding the Owls to just 14 in the game.

Both the offense and defense were clicking for the Gators on Saturday. Along with the high number of shots, Florida’s defense scooped up 18 ground balls and caused eight turnovers. Temple only managed to get seven shots on goal and recorded just three points in the entire match.

By contrast, the Gators tallied 24 points on 17 goals and seven assists, with 26 shots on goal.

“We played as a team today,” coach Amanda O’Leary said in a release. “We knew that we needed to shut down their leading scorer Nicole Tiernan…I thought overall it was just a really good, well-played defensive game.”

Senior Shannon Gilroy led Florida over Temple with four goals, three draw controls and one assist. Gilroy has now scored 43 goals this season, the most in the country. Juniors Devon Schneider and Carly Ross each added three goals for Florida and Ross and a team-high two assists.

In all, 10 Gators scored against Temple and 26 of Florida’s 29 available players saw playing time against the Owls.

Included was sophomore Mollie Stevens, who recorded one goal and one assist in Saturday’s victory. Stevens has now scored in 16 straight games as a Gator, four games shy of tying the program record.

The second-straight conference victory for Florida was another dominant performance. The Gators are beginning to assert themselves early as the Big East’s toughest threat, a reputation they would like to maintain as the conference schedule rolls on.

“Our defense came out there and dictated the pace of the game,” O’Leary said. “Overall, I am very, very proud of our team’s effort today.”

Follow Alex Maminakis on Twitter @alexmaminakis

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Shannon Gilroy runs down the field during Florida's 14-13 overtime loss to Syracuse on March 10 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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