GRESHAM, Ore. -- Victoria Israels (So., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Johanna Sierra (Sr., San Diego, Calif.) combined for five goals for all No. 4 ranked the University of Florida needed as the Gators knocked off No. 19 Middlebury College 8-4 to take the seventh place game at the 2008 National Collegiate Club Championship at Mt. Hood Community College.
Florida never trailed in the game opening up a 2-0 lead two minutes into the game as Israels scored at the 5:50 mark and Sierra finished on an exclusion opportunity with 4:55 left in the first period. Middlebury cut into the margin with a marker by Jeannie LaPlante (Sr., Suffield, Conn.) at 4:41, but the Gators answered less than a minute later as Sierra put home her second goal for a 3-1 lead after seven minutes of play.
Middlbury pulled to within a goal at 3-2 courtesy a penalty shot by Whitney Thomas (Sr., Southborough, Mass.) at the 6:16 mark of the second period, but Florida began to pull away as Ally Moran (Jr., Orlando, Fla.), Israels and Andrea Ferreira (Gr., Petropolis, Brazil) registered scores with 6:00, 4:47 and 2:17 remaining in the first half to give the Gators a 6-2 lead at the break.
The teams traded goals in the second half with LaPlante and Israels ripping off markers at 1:59 and 1:40, respectively, in the third period, while Sarah Black (So., San Antonio, Texas) scored on an exclusion at 5:30 of the fourth period for Middlebury and Ashleigh Abel (Sr., Orlando, Fla.) tallied an exclusion marker with 5:10 to go for Florida to set the 8-4 final.
For her performance, Sierra was named the Player of the Game as she added a game high five steals to her pair of goals.
In goal, Gina Petrakos (Sr., Windmere, Fla.) made five saves for Florida to pick up the win, while Kristen LaPlante (Fr., Suffield, Conn.) blocked away four shots for Middlebury as the Panthers finished eighth in the championship field.
Florida Goals -- Victoria Israels (3); Johanna Sierra (2); Ally Moran; Andrea Ferreira; Ashleigh Abel
Middlebury Goals -- Jeannie LaPlante (2); Whitney Thomas; Sarah Black
Florida Steals -- Johanna Sierra (5)
Middlebury Steals -- Amelia Noble; Jeannie LaPlante
Saves: Florida - Gina Petrakos (5) ; Middlebury - Kristen LaPlante (4)
Ejections: Florida - 6 ; Middlebury - 5
Shots: Florida- 16 ; Middlebury - 12
Sprints: Florida - 3 ; Middlebury - 1
Johanna Sierra scored twice as Florida placed seventh at Nationals