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Tuesday, December 07, 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.

To say that conference play has been kind to Florida this season would be an understatement. The Gators have dismembered their Big East opponents so far in the team’s first season as a member of the conference. It was more of the same on Saturday.

No. 9 Florida (9-4, 3-0 Big East) took care of Georgetown (2-9, 1-1 Big East) in an 18-4 victory at Donald R. Dizney Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  It was the Gators’ third straight win by at least nine goals and second straight by 14.

Florida remains unbeaten in the Big East and has now outscored its conference opponents by a combined score of 54-17.

Previously this season, when Florida would jump out to an early lead, it would begin to let its guard down and bring down the pace of the game. On Saturday, however, the Gators scored the game’s first goal within 20 seconds of the opening whistle and the game’s last goal with 2.3 seconds remaining.

“I just thought it was really important that we got on the board quickly and that we kept going,” coach Amanda O’Leary said after the win. “I thought this time we just really kept at it and kept the momentum going.”

Senior Shannon Gilroy led Florida’s offense with five goals on seven shots along with three assists and five draw controls, all game-highs. The midfielder was happy after the game with the level of intensity that the team sustained throughout Saturday’s win.

“I think from the beginning of the season, we did go into those lulls and we never came up on the winning end of it,” Gilroy said, “so I think that we really mentally, not just physically, came into this game with a different mindset and I think that’s really helped us.”

Florida’s defense also had a strong outing against the Hoyas, giving up just four goals on 17 shots and causing nine turnovers and 26 ground balls, led by the play of junior goalkeeper Mary-Sean Wilcox.

“I can’t say enough about that defensive group today,” O’Leary said. “That was probably, and I told them in the locker room, that was the best I’ve seen them play all season, quite honestly.”

Wilcox seemed to embody the attitude of the entire team after Saturday’s game – she was upbeat and smiling as she walked out of the locker room. When asked what it was like to be back home and to have gotten the team’s third straight win, laughing with a big smile on her face, she replied, “it’s great, it’s wonderful.”

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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