Regular season champion Dolphins host Kennesaw State at 1:00 pm on Friday
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The inaugural Atlantic Sun Conference women’s lacrosse tournament comes to the campus of Jacksonville University this weekend. The Dolphins, who won the regular season crown with a perfect record in league play get things started on Friday at 1:00 pm against Kennesaw State. Second seeded Detroit will then face third seed Stetson at 3:30 pm with the winners squaring off on Sunday at 1:00 pm. All games will take place inside the Ashley Sports Complex at Southern Oak Stadium.
Now is just their fourth season the Dolphins continue to build upon a program that has earned five NCAA statistical championships and two conference titles. This season, while playing one of the most demanding non-conference schedules in Division I, the Fins find themselves in nationally competitive spots in team and individual rankings and player ratings.
“We have been building momentum all year for this weekend and earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Everything we do each day is designed to empower us for a postseason run,” said Head Coach Mindy McCord, the 2013 A-Sun Coach of the Year. “At the end of each day we have to ask ourselves if we did our best to reach our team goals.”
Jacksonville has been ranked in the top-25 by the computer rankings at LaxPower.com for the majority of the season. Their current 92.03 rating is the highest in program history and the team has been rated as high as 19th this season. This week the team checked in at No. 25, ahead of two teams currently in the top-20 by nationally voted polls.
“The computer ratings that LaxPower.com have put together are very comprehensive and objective. It really is good for the game to have different ways of looking at the sport. The rankings are clear indicators of our programs successful growth over the last four years, however our main focus is playing for our school and our fans.”
NCAA statistical rankings also reflect well for the Dolphins. They head into this weekend leading the country in caused turnovers per game (12.63) and ground balls per game (24.69). They are also ranked in the top-5 in total points (3rd - 359), goals per game (4th - 15.38) and scoring margin (5th - 7.0). Green and Gold fans can also find the team ranked in the top 20 in draw control (20th), winning percentage (19th) and defense (14th).
In the new LaxPower.com Player Impact Ratings six Dolphins are rated in the top-50 of their position. The comprehensive rating takes into account statistics, games played, team strength and schedule strength.
“It really is great to see the game grow with more ways to follow it.” added McCord. “In the ‘Money Ball’ era it is nice to see that there are different ways to analyze the game and the relative success of a program. You have to give credit to LaxPower founder Larry Feldman for thinking differently and creating something that people can discuss objectively.”
All the rankings and ratings are great recognition for JU, but they don’t distract Coach McCord or her team.
“The season is far from over. We have to put things into perspective. We need to represent well in the A-Sun and win the tournament title this weekend and then move on and advance from there. Every player on the team, rated or not rated, will make that possible. Every game matters. To our seniors every minute matters. Our practices continue to improve in terms of quality. That is the type of evaluation that I am looking for as a coach. At the end of the season we want to have laid it all on the line and fought with everything we’ve got. That is more important than a ranking or a rating to us all.”
All the A-Sun Tournament games can been seen on A-Sun TV.
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