Dolphins advance to NCAA Tournament
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – History was made Sunday afternoon at Southern Oak Stadium. Top seeded Jacksonville defeated second seeded Detroit 22-8 to claim the inaugural Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship and earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“We are so thrilled and excited to be the inaugural A-Sun Champions,” said Jacksonville Head Coach Mindy McCord. “We worked hard from the beginning of the year when we started the season against top ranked Syracuse in January. We built our momentum by playing a tough non-conference schedule which allowed us to have the success we did this weekend.”
Dolphins senior, and Tournament MVP Amanda Hurley (Columbus, Ga.) led the way with a career high six points scoring five goals and an assist.
“We executed our game plan perfectly today,” said Hurley. “Our game is run and gun and every time our defense came away with a stop they pushed it down field and the offense took care of the rest.”
First Team All-A-Sun, Taylor McCord (Jacksonville, Fla.) added two goals and had two assists all in the first half as Jacksonville (13-5) raced out to a 6-0 lead.
“We talked about it before the game that when we got the momentum going we could really push it which worked to our advantage in the first 10 minutes of the game,” said McCord, the 2013 A-Sun Coach of the Year.
Detroit (5-14) didn’t go away easy however as the Titans answered the initial Dolphins wave with a 5-3 run. Tessa Keuler (Oregon, City, Ore.) and Zaynib Hamze (Dublin, Calif.) started things off with back-to-back goals in the 17th minute. Erin Campbell (Orangeville, Ont.) capped off the spurt 10 minutes later with her second goal of the run. Campbell’s score was one of her team high four for the game and cut the margin to four (9-5) with five minute remaining the opening half.
Jacksonville then responded with three straight goals to keep the Titans on the heels. Kaitlin Stewart (Annapolis, Md.) then added another score for the Dolphins in the final seconds to secure a 12-6 halftime advantage.
“Once we gave up a few goals and then started losing the draw our team really dug in and fought hard to refocus on the things that gave us the momentum at the beginning,” McCord said.
First Team All-A-Sun Brit Orashen (Lebanon, N.J.) would jump start another three goal outburst in the opening five minutes of the second half as Jacksonville quickly took control for good by growing the lead to 10 at 16-6.
Senior Karli Tobin (Moorestown, N.J.)made one save in 40 minutes before giving way to sophomore Asia Moore (Apex, N.C.) who made three saves and yielded two goals in relief of Tobin in the second half.
The Dolphins will learn of their NCAA opponent and destination next Sunday.
The DI Women’s Lacrosse Championship Selection Show will air at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday May 5 on NCAA.com at http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2013/05/05
For other DI Women’s Lacrosse Championship information, please reference this link http://www.ncaa.com/championships/lacrosse-women/d1#!road_to_the_championship
A-Sun All-Tournament Team
Amanda Hurley (Jacksonville) - MVP
Ali Hoffman (Jacksonville)
Jessica Hotchkiss (Jacksonville)
Taylor McCord (Jacksonville)
Brit Orashen (Jacksonville)
Tessa Keuler (Detroit)
Zaynib Hamze (Detroit)
Megan Callahan (Detroit)
Senneca Ward (Kennesaw State)
Whitney Draper (Kennesaw State)
Maylis Broderick (Stetson)
Paige Levesque (Stetson)
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