Dolphins matched-up against fourth top 10 opponent this season
The Jacksonville women’s lacrosse team continues its torrid non-conference schedule when they face their fourth top-10 opponent of the season this Friday night. This time, it will be on the road against #2 North Carolina.
It will be the first match between JU (9-3) and UNC (11-2), one of the traditional names in college sports.
“They are always mentioned among the best programs in the country each year no matter what. They have won a lot of games over the years and consistently play at a very high level. We are excited to make the trip to historic Fetzer Field for the game on Friday night,” said head coach Mindy McCord.
UNC has among the most all-American players ever produced by a university and has been ranked in the top-10 nearly every year since the programs inception nearly two decades ago. This year the all-American candidates are led by senior midfielder Cara Kannizarro, and goal keeper Lauren Maksym, junior midfielders Brittany Copa, and Abbey Friend, and sophomore midfielder Margaret Corzel.
“You don’t see any weaknesses across the board for them. They always have among the best talent anywhere and they have a lot of depth. Their home field is a tough environment for visiting teams. Their coaching staff is also highly decorated and very experienced. There are not many teams like them out there which is why we want to play them,” added McCord.
UNC has had another strong season, losing only to #1 Maryland by 1 goal and #2 Florida by 2 goals while defeating defending NCAA champion Northwestern. They have also defeated common opponent Duke in overtime on the road. JU looks to test it’s style against the veteran Tar Heels in an effort to gain more experience for the stretch run of the season.
“As the season gets shorter, we need games like this to prepare for May. Improving each game is what we have talked about all season. We are a much different team than when we faced Syracuse, England and Vanderbilt to start the season. We need to keep evolving through this weekend’s games as well,” McCord said.
After the game, JU will return home on Saturday and hold a brief practice in preparation for A-Sun opponent Detroit, whom they play on Sunday. Sunday is JU’s senior day and also marks the final home regular season contest for the Dolphins. Seven seniors will be honored, all of whom have played critical roles in the development of Jacksonville University as a household name in women’s lacrosse in just four seasons of competition. Ironically, the senior’s first win came as freshmen against Detroit.
“When we first started this program with one scholarship and a lot of dreams, most of the seniors never envisioned where they are today,” says McCord. “I think they still have more to go on their journey. For them, they are just getting started as successful people. JU was a place for them to grow and prepare for more success. We have a lot of unfinished business this year with the ASun tournament we host and our eye on the NCAA playoffs. It’s far from over for this amazing group of leaders!”.
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