JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With a hard-fought win over Marquette last weekend, the Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team was finally able to collect its first win of the season. The Dolphins (1-4) now try to make it two in a row on Saturday at D.B. Milne Field beginning at 12 p.m. when they welcome in the Air Force Falcons (3-3) for the final non-conference home game of the season. The game will also be streamed online for free on ASun.TV.
Though JU’s game with Marquette featured some uncomfortable moments late in the game, a defensive stand in the final minute gave the Dolphins the 9-8 victory. Lost in the shuffle so far this season has been the strides made on the defensive end for Jacksonville. After giving up 35 goals combined to Duke and Notre Dame, JU has allowed just eight goals in each of the last three games. Part of that credit has to go to goalkeeper Pete DeLuca, who has made 69 saves on the year and posted a .539 save percentage. At the same time, contributions from players such as Austin Curtis (eight caused turnovers, six ground balls), Tyler Black (five caused turnovers, a team-leading 15 ground balls), Charlie Archer, Scott Cannon, Will Crenshaw, Mike McCredie and Joey Pfister have been vital as well.
On the offensive side, opponents are faced with multiple challenges when trying to slow down the JU attack. The Dolphins have five players tied for the team lead in goals, all with five apiece. Duncan Clancy tops the team in points as he has added eight assists to his five-goal total so far on the season. Tom Moore is behind him with five goals and four helpers. Chase McIntyre, Quint Miller and Dakota Rohlin all have five goals as well; while Rob Moore and Rob Wertz have each had a hat trick in the past two games.
Opposite Jacksonville on Saturday will be Air Force. The Falcons evened their record at 3-3 with a 13-9 home win over previously undefeated Bellarmine. The Dolphins will become Air Force’s third Atlantic Sun opponent of the season, with the Falcons posting a 15-6 win over Furman back on Feb. 15, before a 6-4 road loss to VMI on March 2. Mike Crampton and Tommy McKee lead the team with 12 goals apiece, while Keith Dreyer has nine assists on the season. McKee comes in with the nation’s longest goal-scoring streak of 27 games.
“We are excited to face a very good Air Force team and the challenges they will give us,” said Head Coach Guy Van Arsdale. “They are very talented at the attack and possession of the ball will be very important. This weekend will give us an indication as to our continued improvement and hopefully we will start to see some of our injuries healing. It should be a great day versus a great opponent.”
Jacksonville spends the rest of March on the road, with two non-conference matchups yet to come. The first is next Saturday in Moon Township, Pa. when the Dolphins face the Robert Morris Colonials at 12 p.m.