[16/16] Denver Falls to [2/3] Florida in BIG EAST Championship
Pioneers drop 18-12 decision, will await NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday's selection show
May 6, 2017
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Unable to build any momentum, the [16/16] University of Denver women’s lacrosse program trailed wire-to-wire against [2/3] Florida on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium en route to an 18-12 loss in the BIG EAST Championship.
The Pioneers (14-4) narrowed the gap to 14-9 with 15:30 to play, but a 4-0 run from the Gators (17-2) put the game out of reach as DU’s upset bid failed to gain any steam.
Sophomore Julia Feiss and senior Emily Conway led the Crimson and Gold on the offensive end as the duo combined for nine goals in the loss. Feiss closed with five to go with one caused turnover while Conway buried four markers with two ground balls, one caused turnover and one draw control.
Denver finished with nine caused turnovers as a team, led by a pair each from senior Sybil Pallace and redshirt-sophomore Kennedy Milburn. Senior Layne Voorhees recorded her first caused turnover of the game midway through the second half to become the fourth Pioneer in school history to record 100 over the course of her career.
Classmate Maddy Stevenson took the decision while making 12 saves in 60 minutes between the pipes.
Florida had plenty of options to choose from as BIG EAST Attacker of the Year Mollie Stevens ended with seven points on five goals and a pair of helpers. She was followed closely by Lindsey Ronbeck with six points on a trio of goals and assists, while Sydney Pirreca tallied five on a hat trick and a pair of assists.
Sammi Burgess was the other Gator with a hat trick in the contest as she ended with four points following her lone assist. BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year Haley Hicklen took the decision for Florida after making 12 saves in the crease.
The Gators were in control early, building up a 4-0 cushion at 21:44 before freshman Annie Lyman got Denver on the board at the 20:59 mark of the first half. Florida responded with a pair of tallies for a 6-1 advantage just past the 18-minute mark and cruised to an 11-4 lead at halftime as Feiss provided the final say in the frame for the Pioneers.
UF connected for three of the first four goals at the start of the second stanza, but Denver fired off a 4-0 run by the 15:30 mark thanks to two goals from Conway, one from Feiss and one from sophomore Audrey Schreck.
Unfortunately, Florida put away a 4-0 run of its own to rebuild the lead back to 18-9 and a late three-goal push from DU wasn’t enough to sway the momentum as the Gators claimed their third consecutive BIG EAST Championship at 18-12.
Feiss, Conway and junior Caitlin Derry were named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team after their stellar performances.
The Pioneers will await their NCAA Tournament fate at the selection show on Sunday, May 7, which will broadcast live on NCAA.com. The 26-team field will be determined following 13 automatic bids and 13 at-large bids with the top six seeds earning first-round byes. Denver came into the BIG EAST Tournament with an RPI of 26.
BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player
Mollie Stevens, Florida, A
BIG EAST All-Tournament Team
Haley Hicklen, Florida, GK
Sammi Burgess, Florida, A
Caroline Fitzgerald, Florida, D
Lindsey Ronbeck, Florida, A
Mollie Stevens, Florida, A
Caitlin Derry, Denver, A
Julia Feiss, Denver, A
Emily Conway, Denver, M
Brenda McDermott, Temple A
Morgan Glassford, Temple, M
Taylor Gebhardt, Georgetown, A
Francesca Whitehurst, Georgetown, M
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