Florida lacrosse is headed to the Sweet Sixteen.
The No. 11 Gators (15-5) defeated No. 10 Stanford (15-3) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon 15-10.
Florida will now advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the fifth time in just the sixth year of the program’s existence.
Friday was just the second-ever meeting between the Gators and the Cardinal.
It was also a matchup of mother and daughter – Florida head coach Amanda O’Leary’s daughter, Madison, is a freshman midfielder for Stanford. Madison saw playing time in Friday’s match, but didn’t record a stat.
Senior Shannon Gilroy led the way in Friday’s victory. The midfielder scored a team-high five goals and added two assists, eight draw controls and one caused turnover. Gilroy’s first goal of the game was the 250th of her career, making her just the 12th woman in NCAA Division I history to reach that milestone.
After going scoreless for the first 14 minutes of the second half, Florida held a narrow 9-8 lead over the Cardinal, but the Gators quickly widened the gap. Florida scored the game’s next five goals and didn’t look back.
Sophomore Mollie Stevens contributed three goals, extending her program record of games with a goal to 24. Redshirt junior Nicole Graziano and junior Devon Schneider also had two goals apiece. Junior goalkeeper Mary-Sean Wilcox had an impressive outing as well, recording eight saves.
Florida now advances to the Sweet Sixteen in a rematch with No. 2 North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Tarheels beat the Gators 17-11 on Feb. 7 in Gainesville.
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. Gilroy scored two goals in Sunday's 11-6 loss to UNC.