Florida sent its seniors out with a bang.
On a day when the Gators’ three seniors were honored in a postgame ceremony, No. 9 Florida (11-4, 5-0 Big East) blew out Villanova (7-6, 2-2 Big East) on Saturday in a 21-3 victory. Sixteen of the Gators’ goals were scored in the first 30 minutes, tying a season-high for goals in one half.
It was Florida’s fifth consecutive win, all of which have come in conference play.
The Gators out-shot Villanova 29-1 in the first half and 38-8 overall.
They also only had five turnovers while forcing the Wildcats into 15. The win was one of Florida’s most dominant of the year.
In all, 12 Gators recorded a goal, tied for a season high. Senior Shannon Gilroy scored the game’s first just 1:21 into the contest. Gilroy finished with a game-high four goals and filled her senior day stat sheet with two assists, seven shots, five ground balls, six draw controls and five caused turnovers.
“I think we were prepared coming out to this game,” Gilroy said. “(Assistant coaches) Erica (LaGrow) and Michelle (Tumolo) had a good game plan for us and we watched film on (Villanova), we knew what they were gonna come out and do, so I think we executed it really well.”
Gilroy, Nora Barry and Mikki Offit were each honored after the game in a special Senior Day celebration. Saturday’s result was a fitting way to send off the trio because of how dominant the program has been since they’ve been a part of it.
Barry scored one goal and recorded two assists, one draw control and one caused turnover in the win. Offit, who has come off the bench this season, saw significant playing time and recorded two shots.
Even though Florida still has one more home game next Wednesday and plenty of postseason action ahead of them, Saturday was something special for the seniors.
“It’s kind of nice, it’s not as sad because I know I still have one more home game,” Barry said. “But, I mean, Senior Day is strange. This has been my life for the past four years, so it’s definitely bitter sweet.”
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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.