GREENVILLE, N.C. — Vanderbilt fell 17-6 to top-seeded Florida in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday.
The third-seeded Dores (11-7, 3-2 AAC) kept things close in the first half before the Gators (15-4, 5-0 AAC) pulled away over the final two quarters.
Kayla Rieu opened the scoring with her 10th goal on the season, putting the Dores on the board, 1-0, less than two minutes into the game.
After Florida scored back-to-back goals, senior Callie Sundin deposited a pass from fifth-year senior Gabby Fornia into the back of the Florida net to even the score at 2-2.
The Gators went back up by one but senior Maddie Souza once again pulled Vanderbilt even with a goal at the 2:41 mark in the first.
Florida took a 4-3 advantage into the second quarter with a last-second goal to close out the first 15 minutes.
The Gators scored the first four goals of the second period to open a five-point lead at 8-3.
Bri Gross ended the Vanderbilt scoring drought with 2:17 left in the first half for her 99th career goal.
Florida held a 9-4 lead at the break and scored to first goal of the second half to open a six-goal advantage. The Gators maintained their momentum and stretched their lead to 12-4 before freshman Nancy Halleron broke the streak with her ninth goal on the season.
Halleron scored her second goal with 7:11 remaining in the game to cut the Gators’ lead to 15-6.
Fornia connected with Sundin again late in the fourth quarter to break her own Vanderbilt single-season assist record with her 56th on the season.
Florida held on to win by a final tally of 18-7.
Paige Gunning’s 21 saves broke the AAC Tournament single-game record, passing the mark she set on Thursday against Temple.
Gunning, Fornia and Melissa Hawkins each earned AAC All-Tournament selections.