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Northwestern women's lacrosse falls apart against Florida

Understandably, coach Kelly Amonte Hiller did not have much to say after Saturday's match.

"(Florida) executed really well and deserve all the credit for that. There's nothing we can do about it now. We need to reevaluate ourselves and be ready for our next game."

This, after No. 3 Florida defeated No. 4 Northwestern, 22-4, in a rematch of last year's ALC Championship game.

The Gators were celebrating their first ever Senior Day since establishing a program in 2010. Fittingly, the seniors stepped up, with Kitty Cullen, Ashley Bruns and Gabi Wiegand all scoring multiple goals.

They helped Florida (16-1, 4-1 ALC) jump out to a 5-0 lead over NU (13-2, 4-1 ALC) before senior Taylor Thornton got the Cats on the board with 18 minutes left in the first half. Thornton's goal did not shift the momentum though, as Florida scored eight of the next nine goals to put the Gators up 13-2 at halftime.

Florida scored the first three goals of the second period as well. Senior Erin Fitzgerald, the Cats' leading scorer, momentarily stopped the streak with her second goal of the day but the Gators tallied seven straight scores to put the game even further out of reach. Freshman Nancy Dunbar added a goal with 14 seconds left for the final 22-4 score.

Notably absent from the scoring column was junior Alyssa Leonard, who has improved her offensive game this year, notching 23 goals after only seven last year. She did win five draw controls, bring her season total to 96, a career-best.

Florida extended its winning streak to three over the Cats, the only team to beat NU three times under Amonte Hiller. By virtue of head-to-head match-up, Florida will earn the No. 1 seed in the ALC Tournament, which begins May 2 in Baltimore, MD.

NU still has two non-conference matches remaining, starting with No. 7 Notre Dame (11-2, 5-2 Big East) on Wednesday. The Fighting Irish most recently lost to No. 5 Syracuse, 11-8.

The Cats will then return home for Senior Day with a match-up against Penn (9-4, 7-0 Ivy). On Saturday, the Quakers claimed the Ivy League title with a 10-7 overtime victory over Brown.