JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – EverBank Field will see plenty of lacrosse this weekend and headlining the action will be the Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team. As hosts of the fourth annual Moe’s Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic on Feb. 16, the Dolphins will face No. 5 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. in the first game of the doubleheader. No. 14 Ohio State and UMass will follow at 9:15 p.m., with each game broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. Mike Corey, Mark Dixon and Evan Washburn will call all the action on NBCSN, while Ray Carnicelli and Graham Gill will also bring the game to you on 1010XL.
Jacksonville will come into the weekend with one game under its belt, getting started last Saturday against the reigning national champions, Duke. The Dolphins outscored the Blue Devils, 3-1, in the first quarter before giving up six consecutive goals in the second frame. Though the Dolphins showed plenty of resolve, they would not get closer than two goals the rest of the way. Sophomore midfielder Dakota Rohlin notched a hat trick to lead JU, while Duncan Clancy had a team-high five points with a pair of goals and three assists. Senior goalkeeper Pete DeLuca was awarded the first-ever Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Week award after making 16 saves in the game.
Sunday’s contest will serve as Notre Dame’s season opener. The Fighting Irish posted an 11-5 record last season and took the No. 2 national seed in the NCAA Championship. Advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season, the Irish fell to Duke by a score of 12-11. The strength of the Irish last season was with its defense. With a goals-against average of 8.31, Notre Dame ranked among the top ten teams in the country. Making that figure even more impressive, the Irish played 11 ranked teams in their 16 games. Rising senior Jim Marlatt was a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) third-team All-American, while the team’s leading scorer, Matt Kavanagh, was an honorable mention All-American pick after scoring 32 goals and adding 16 assists in his freshman season.
With a win, Jacksonville would even its all-time series in the Moe’s Classic. Currently 1-2, the Fins defeated Navy, 13-7, in 2012, but suffered defeats to Ohio State last season, 9-6, and Georgetown, 15-12, in 2011.
Tickets for the Moe’s Southwest Grill Lacrosse Classic are available now on Ticketmaster.com or at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Box Office. Tickets can be purchased in person at the arena or by calling (904) 630-3900.
Following this weekend, Jacksonville will host its first official home game of the 2014 season as future conference foe Bellarmine comes to D.B. Milne Field on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.