Florida lacrosse falls to Syracuse in NCAA Tournament Elite 8

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Coach Amanda O’Leary and Florida stumble in the NCAA postseason yet again.

No. 3-seeded Syracuse outscored No. 6-seeded Gators in the second half to defeat them 17-11 in the NCAA quarterfinals Saturday in Syracuse, New York.

The Orange grabbed the 5-3 lead in the early stages of the first half. Florida then used two late goals from midfielders Paisley Eagan and Emily Heller to send the game to halftime deadlocked.

Syracuse blasted out of the halftime break, flustering the Gators defense and their goalkeeper Sarah Reznick. It netted five-straight goals via the Orange’s Emily Ward and Emily Tyrell adding two scores apiece during the spurt. They finished the game with six and four scores, respectively.

Florida attacker Grace Haus halted the run momentarily with her first goal of the contest before Syracuse recorded two more scores to push its lead back to 12-6. But the Gators ultimately failed to string together a host of goals without an Orange answer shortly thereafter that allowed Syracuse to cruise to victory.

No Florida player tallied a hat trick in the game. Heller, Eagan, midfielder Shannon Kavanagh and attacker Brianna Harris earned two goals apiece. Harris added three assists that brought her career to 94 that ties her for first in Florida history.

The Gators finished another solid season 18-3 and secured another American Athletic Conference Championship, but the program still chases its first national championship. Some of the Gators’ season-highs include winning all three matchups against No. 25 Temple.

“We came into this game really prepared, but credit a really good Syracuse team,” coach O’Leary said. “They put forth a fantastic effort. We held them well in the first half, but they came out very strong in the second half, and we did not match that energy.”