Monday, May 16, 2016

Gators season ends

 It was a game of inches and seconds Sunday in Florida's NCAA Tournament Second Round game at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Ultimately, the Penn State Nittany Lions (13-6) netted the goal that counted in a 14-13 overtime win against the No. 2 Seed Gators (18-2) to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals next weekend. A total of 10 ties laced the battle at The Diz as the two teams squared off on a hot day in Gainesville for the right to be one of eight standing following Sunday's games. It took sudden-death overtime to determine the winner and PSU emerged victorious with 2:45 left on the clock. Florida out-shot Penn State, 39-23, and won the draw control battle on the day, 16-14, but the Nittany Lions won arguably the two most important draws in OT. Penn State worked to an 8-7 lead at the half in regulation, just the second time Florida trailed at the half all season (Maryland), but the Gators were up for the challenge. Just 40 seconds into the second half, redshirt senior Tewaaraton Award Finalist Nicole Graziano struck with the equalizer. Penn State didn't back down. The two squads traded scores for a 10-10 tie before PSU went up 12-10, then it was Florida's turn for a three-goal splurge for the 13-12 lead. Jenna Mosketti tied the game 13-13 with 11:21 in regulation. Florida stalled, setting up for the final shot of the game. After an unsuccessful UF free-position attempt with 21 ticks on the clock, freshman Sydney Pirreca had 11 seconds to get a shot off. The dribbler hugged the goal line, flirted with the turf on the other side, toyed with the Gator players and crowd, but was ultimately ruled a PSU save that sent the game into OT.

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