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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.

Some people like change.

Some embrace it, quickly adapting to the new circumstances and making the most of the hand they’ve been dealt.

Florida lacrosse fits that category. The team has hit the ground running in its first year as a part of its new conference.

The Gators have stormed into the Big East this season after playing in the American Lacrosse Conference for the program’s first five years.

The No. 9 Gators are now 2-0 in Big East play early in the conference schedule.

They have outscored their two conference opponents, Vanderbilt and Temple, by a combined score of 36-13 and have flashed their potential dominance of the conference in both victories.

Senior Shannon Gilroy leads the Big East and is second in the country in both goals (43) and points (57), and the Gators also lead the conference with 182 goals.

The beginning of conference play also marked a bright spot in Florida’s season in that it ended the three-game losing streak the Gators had suffered prior to their Big East opener against Vanderbilt.

"It’s certainly nice to make that kind of turnaround. We needed to do that," coach Amanda O’Leary said. "We are in that new conference, so each and every game is a new experience for us because ultimately we haven’t played a lot of those teams, other than Vanderbilt, in a long time or ever."

The Gators have certainly made their presence felt in their new conference.

Florida was the preseason pick to win the Big East and is still the favorite to do so.

Gilroy along with Caroline Fitzgerald, Nora Barry and Sammi Burgess were also named to the preseason All-Big East First Team. The number of all-conference players could increase if the Gators maintain the high level at which they have played as of late.

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"We’ve seen a lot of leadership out of our junior and senior class, kind of in the hopes of turning around those losses and going forward in the rest of the season with conference play," O’Leary said. "Really, just pleased with the efforts of our upperclassmen to take reins of those losses and make sure that we’re better prepared for these conference games."

 Follow Alex Maminakis on Twitter @alexmaminakis

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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