Women's lacrosse fights hard but falls to Florida, 16-6
The JU women’s lacrosse team kept it close early but in the end couldn’t keep up with Florida, falling 16-6 in the Gators’ inaugural game.

The Dolphins (0-3) were led by a strong performance from freshman Amanda Hurley with two goals in her first start of the year. Freshman goalkeeper Karli Tobin made several key reaction saves, keeping the visitors close into the second half.

The Gators (1-0) opened up their program with a big contribution from Ashley Bruns whose four goals and four assists aided half of the home side’s scores.

“We played really well tonight,” said JU head coach Mindy McCord. “We’ve come so far in the first three games I think we’re really prepared for our first conference game. There was great hustle out there against a very strong, well coach Florida team.”

The opening draw, won by freshman midfielder Cassie Campasano, came with a vocal standing-room only crowd with fans lining the fences behind the north goal, unable to make it into the sold out complex.

Florida scored its first goal in program history two minutes into the game when Sam Farrell sent a ball through traffic which was lost by Tobin and scooted into the back of the net.

The Dolphins would even up the score in the fifth minute on a great finish to a strong fast break.

Freshman attacker Megan Lusby took a spectacular pass from behind the goal from Sarah Michel and finished right in front of the crease to tie the score at 1-1.

The Gators would answer right back with two quick goals but freshman defender Carly Van Zanten would stop the run.

Van Zanten brought JU back to within one on a great series of moves from the top of the scoring area. The freshman made quick moves around two Gator defenders before shooting confidently past Florida goalie Cara Canington.

JU would stop a four goal Florida run several minutes later when freshman attacker Amanda Hurley called her own number through a crowd of defenders and scored with a shot by Canington’s weak side.

The Dolphins would cut the deficit to three five minutes later with a nice individual effort from freshman midfielder Ellyn Spangenberg. The freshman lost her defender with a great spin move in front of the goal and charged in to score.

The last 13 minutes of the first half would prove costly for the Dolphins as JU saw its back-to-back goals answered by four from the Gators, sending the game into halftime with a score of 11-4.

JU’s slow second half starting woes continued in Gainesville as the Gators scored the first three goals.

The Dolphins would score on their first free position shot of the game when freshman Abigail Warnken fired a bouncer around Canington to bring the score to 14-5.

Florida would eventually push the lead to 11 before Hurley netted her second goal of the game with 1:19 remaining.

The Dolphins again found trouble controlling the run of play inside the last ten minutes of the half and the opening ten of the second. JU conceded seven goals, three at the start of the second half, and was never able to come back from the knockout blow.

The Dolphins jump into National Lacrosse Conference play next week when they face Detroit-Mercy in Clinton, S.C.