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Women's lacrosse Final Four full of LI faces

Northwestern's Erin Fitzgerald (Mt. Sinai High School) practices

Northwestern's Erin Fitzgerald (Mt. Sinai High School) practices before the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse semifinals at Stony Brook University. (May 24, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Erin Fitzgerald's family will have its allegiances put to the test this weekend.

Erin is a junior midfielder for Northwestern, which is aiming to repeat as NCAA Division I national champions but first must take on familiar foe Maryland in a national semifinal at 5:30 Friday night at Stony Brook University.

That's where it starts to get tricky for the Fitzgeralds, as Erin's older sister Kaitlyn was a former track and field star for the Terrapins. Making matters even more interesting, Erin's younger sister Caroline, a junior at Mount Sinai, has committed to Florida, which just so happens faces Syracuse in the other semifinal Friday night at 8.

"They decided who's in college at the time, they're going to cheer for them," Erin Fitzgerald said of her parents. "Right now they're totally Northwestern fans. They'll always be Northwestern fans.

"Caroline will come in Northwestern colors. We're very supportive of each other so she's already decided that she will come in purple."

That is at least until a potential final with the Gators.

Fitzgerald, who went to Mount Sinai, will be one of more than a dozen players from Long Island playing in the Final Four. Along with West Babylon's Shannon Smith, Fitzgerald is hoping to bring another title back to Evanston, Ill., but first must get through a Maryland squad they've faced in the title game each of the past two years.

Florida, the top-ranked team in the country, has reached the Final Four in only the third year of the program. Northport's Shannon Gilroy has made a huge impact for the Gators in her first year and is in a key matchup at draws with Syracuse's Kailah Kempney.

Alyssa Murray of West Babylon leads Syracuse and ranks third in the country with 100 points.

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