TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2011
Women’s lacrosse to face nationally ranked Florida on Wednesday
The JU women’s lacrosse team will look to build off its season-opening win when it hosts the 17th-ranked Florida Gators at the Ashley Sports Complex on Wednesday. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

Freshman Jen Cosgrove will look to build off a stellar collegiate debut. The attacker netted four goals to help lead the Dolphins to a home win against the Big East-member Cincinnati Bearcats. JU will now try to post the first victory over a nationally ranked opponent in program history against the Gators.

Junior attacker Sarah Michel carries a hot streak into the contest. The Alpharetta, Ga. native notched her second career hat trick against Cincinnati and is riding a four-game goal-scoring streak that extends to 2010.

“The win over Cincinnati was a big confidence-booster for the JU Dolphins,” Michel said. “It was nice having the bench players coming off with the same intensity as our starters. It was awesome seeing freshman getting playing time and really excelling out there.”

Florida enters the contest 0-1 after falling in overtime to No. 3 North Carolina in its season opener. The Gators boast a potent offense led by sophomore middie Kitty Cullen, who scored four goals on seven shots against the Tar Heels.

JU will also be looking for revenge from the first all-time meeting last year, when the Dolphins dropped a 16-6 decision in Gainesville. With 12 of JU’s 18 goals coming from freshmen or sophomores in the opener, the Dolphins are hoping the fresh faces can come up big again.

“The Gators are our rival team,” Michel said. “It’s going to be nice to go out and play them and show them what we have. Our team chemistry is good; we’re ready to play them.”

The Dolphins will look to capitalize off free position opportunities. JU torched the Bearcats for five goals on just 10 free position shots. Head coach Mindy McCord’s team also caused 13 turnovers and logged 15 successful clears on 16 chances.

“Our defense made huge stops and had great communication,” Michel said.

JU’s defense will try and stymie Cullen and the rest of the Gators. The Dolphins forced seven Cincinnati missed clears in the opener and will try and duplicate that feat under the lights on Wednesday.

Offensively, six Dolphins enter the matchup with multi-goal games. Middie Kaitlin Stewart made her first game as a freshman a memorable one, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Fellow freshman Nikki Erdely followed with a two-goal outing of her own and sophomore Rachel Krell also scored.

- By Brian Bohl