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Tuesday, December 07, 2021
<p>Shannon Gilroy runs toward the net during Florida's 12-11 loss to Stony Brook on March 17 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.</p>

Shannon Gilroy runs toward the net during Florida's 12-11 loss to Stony Brook on March 17 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Florida didn’t want to lose another game in Storrs, Connecticut.

The No. 1 seed Gators defeated No. 4 seed Villanova 18-8 on Thursday afternoon in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. The tournament is being held in Storrs on the campus of UConn, where Florida lost the last game it played to the Huskies 11-10 on April 18.

Returning to the same field, the Gators were determined to avenge that loss.

Just like their regular season matchup on April 11, when the Gators beat the Wildcats 21-3, Florida simply overpowered Villanova. The Gators had nine goal scorers in Thursday’s win, including four players with three or more goals apiece.

Senior Shannon Gilroy scored the game’s first goal in the first minute. The Big East Midfielder of the Year finished the game with four goals, moving her into 12th place on the NCAA all-time goal-scoring list with 245 career goals.

Sammi Burgess, Mollie Stevens and Lauren Lea each added three goals to round out the barrage of hat tricks. This was Stevens’ 22nd straight game with a goal, adding to the program record the sophomore set earlier this year.

Florida, in just its first year as a member of the Big East, now has a chance to win the conference title. The Gators advance to the Big East Championship Game on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and will await the winner of No. 2 seed Georgetown and No. 3 seed UConn.

Follow Alex Maminakis on Twitter @alexmaminakis

Shannon Gilroy runs toward the net during Florida's 12-11 loss to Stony Brook on March 17 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

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