The Florida Gators are the Big East Tournament champions.
In its first year as a member of the conference, Florida (14-5) won the championship game on Saturday afternoon, defeating UConn (11-7) 20-6 in Storrs, Connecticut. Florida was also the regular season champion of the Big East this year.
Exactly two weeks after the Gators fell to the Huskies 11-10 on April 18 in the regular season finale, Florida exacted its revenge when it mattered.
The No. 1 seed Gators blew out No. 3 seed UConn and dominated from beginning to end. Florida’s 20 goals were the most the Huskies had surrendered all season.
Senior Nora Barry scored the Gators’ first three goals in the game’s first four minutes, setting the pace for Florida’s offense throughout the championship match. Eight Gators recorded a goal in the game – three players scored at least three. Junior Devon Schneider scored a game-high five goals and senior Shannon Gilroy added four.
After the game, Gilroy was named the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Gilroy had eight goals over the team’s two tournament wins and also had five draw controls and three caused turnovers in Saturday’s victory. She has been Florida’s team leader all year long.
The Gators will enjoy this conference tournament win, but the team’s focus will soon turn to the postseason. Florida earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the conference championship, with first round action beginning Friday.
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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.