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No. 2 Florida Holds Off Resurgent No. 13 Dartmouth, 14-9

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By John and Matt Risley

HANOVER, N.H. - It was an unfamiliar sight Saturday afternoon at Scully-Fahey Field as the No. 13 Dartmouth women's lacrosse team walked off the turf.

It had been more than two full seasons since the Big Green had lost a regular-season home game, a stretch that had reached 16 straight victories earlier this year. However, that streak came to an end as No. 2 Florida came to Hanover and handed the Green a 14-9 defeat.

Fans had not seen the home team lose in Hanover since a match-up against Penn on April 17, 2010. The run of home perfection stretched across two regular seasons (8-0 & 7-0) and a win in the home opener this year against New Hampshire.

The outcome was the first setback of the season for the Big Green as they fell to 4-1 with the loss. It was the second straight spring to see the Gators snapped the team's hot start and ended an early-undefeated run, doing so last year in Gainesville as well.

Florida continues its impressive 2013, improving to 9-0.

A game that was one of runs saw the biggest of the afternoon go in favor of the visitors as the Gators rebounded from an early 3-1 Dartmouth lead to net seven of the final eight goals in the first half and take a 9-4 advantage into intermission.

After Florida opened the second half on a 4-1 run, the Big Green would trim the deficit and score the final three markers of the contest in the last 1:22 of regulation, pulling to within five again.

"I think what we learned from this game was that we can play with any team in the country, but we can't have the mental lapses we had today. There was a level of inconsistency that hurt us," head coach Amy Patton said.

"There is no question we can be a top-five team in the nation, but we have to play the majority of the game the way we did in the first 20 minutes of today's contest," Patton added.

Early goals from Liz Calby, Jaclyn Leto and Lindsey Allard helped the home team jump out to a 3-1 advantage in the first nine minutes of play.

However, Florida's Shannon Gilroy and Nora Barry proved to be dominant forces that gave the Big Green defense its toughest task of the season in trying to defend the duo.

Gilroy finished the afternoon with five goals, while Barry notched three in the win.

Calby, Allard and Hana Bowers all scored a pair for Dartmouth, while Leto, Kelsey Johnson and Gabby Starkey all had one apiece. For Starkey, her tally in the final minute of the game was the first of her collegiate career. Johnson, a defensive-minded midfielder, found the back of the net early in the second half for her first goal since her sophomore season in 2011.

Goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello posted six saves, while Florida's Mikey Meagher made four.

Dartmouth will have a bit of a break for finals before returning to action next Sunday, March 17, when it travels to take on Duke in Durham, N.C.