MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2012
JU faces stern test against No. 16 Cornell
Fresh off their first win ever over Louisville, the JU women’s lacrosse team faces its sternest test since the opening game against Florida when 16th-ranked Cornell comes to town Tuesday.

The Dolphins hammered the Cardinals 20-10 Saturday behind Morgan Derner’s five goals, while Cornell was suffering its first loss of the season in Orlando against seventh-ranked Notre Dame, 17-13.

Despite the big win over Louisville, JU coach Mindy McCord says she expects no letdown from the Dolphins who are riding a six-game win streak and a 12-game home win streak stretching to more than a year ago.

“Actually, I think we have momentum,’’ she said. “It’s one game at a time; you can’t focus on the next opponent.’’

This is the first meeting between the teams.

“We’re pumped up,’’ McCord said. “We’re excited because we’ve never played Cornell. They’re a well-coached team with a lot of seniority on the team and we’ll put our two teams together and see how the matchup works out.’’

JU, which was cruising along this season, seems to have found another gear with the return of Derner who missed the first four games with a knee injury. She has scored eight goals in the last two games.

Sophomore Ali Hoffman, who had three goals against Louisville, also has two four-goal games this season and has taken the team lead in scoring with 17 goals. Jen Cosgrove is in her shadow with 16.

Hoffman also has 12 ground balls and eight caused turnovers on the season. Her ground ball total is third on the team behind Jess Hotchkiss (17) and Morgan Basler (13). Hotchkiss also has 12 caused turnovers.

Cornell’s offense is led by a pair of seniors, captain Jessi Steinberg with 19 goals and seven assists and Olivia Knotts, who has 16 goals and eight assists.

Senior captain Cacki Helmer leads the defense with 13 caused turnovers and 23 ground balls.

The game is scheduled to be shown on asun.tv. at noon.