JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse team is one game away from achieving a goal set out in the beginning of the season. On Sunday, May 4, the Dolphins chase after their second consecutive Atlantic Sun championship title.
The final will be live broadcasted on CSS and ESPN3 with Brian Freshley and Richard Miller on the call. First draw is scheduled for noon.
"I love this team," said Head Coach Mindy McCord. "They have been through a lot. They have seen a lot of adversity on and off the field, and yet here they stand at the end of the season, poised for something great. I just love it!"
The Dolphins punched their ticket to the finals with a 20-4 victory over Stetson. Freshman attacker Danielle Della Rocca contributed her second 4-goal game of the season to lead the Fins. Morgan Derner posted a hat trick and Holly Ventimiglia, Rachel Aus, Taylor McCord and Kelsey Wiglesworth each recorded two goals.
In perhaps her best game of the season, Kristin Ridenour was a defensive mastermind. She recorded five ground balls, five draw controls and four caused turnovers.
JU outshot the Hatters 43-to-9, went a perfect 9-for-9 in clear attempts and held the edge in ground balls (32-to-23) and draw controls (23-to-3). Stetson also committed 19 turnovers with 15 of them being caused by the Fins.
"We played the best lacrosse game in program history against Stetson. This is riding the momentum from the Vanderbilt win and a big win over Elon. Honestly, our success of late is due to emerging young players and our older players competing at their highest level. They are peaking at the right time. That makes us very dangerous."
In five conference games, goalkeeper Asia Moore has given up 18 goals and has a goals against average of 4.35. She has saved 52.6 percent of the shots she’s faced. Against Stetson, she gave up no goals and recorded three saves in 30 minutes of action.
"Asia is the wildcard. She was overlooked for all conference voting, but you don't see our conference schools scoring on her. She made three saves in a shutout first-half against Stetson. Over the last nine games her goals against average is around six. She is well over 50% in saves. I think she is playing confidently and she has something to prove. She wants to keep every shot out of the net."
"Detroit is a team that is finally healthy and has battled from a poor start through adversity and now are playing their best lacrosse of the year," said McCord. "That's why they are in the finals again. Their win over Elon was impressive."
"They are led by four strong lefties and a left handed goalie. Their pipeline to Canada has paid dividends. They have developed more scoring threats. They are strong on the draw. They have a blue collar attitude and spirit. They are a dangerous team. They have nothing to lose."
Junior goalkeeper Lexie McCormick made 16 saves for the University of Detroit Mercy women's lacrosse team as the Titans raced past Elon, 15-11, in the second game of the A-Sun semifinals.
The Dolphins last met the Titans on April 6 where they left the Motor City with an 18-5 victory. The Fins are 8-0 in the all-time series.
Sunday’s winner will leave Southern Oak Stadium with an automatic
bid to the NCAA Tournament. If the Dolphins win, join the team at Regency’s
Miller's Ale House at 9 p.m. for the NCAA Selection Show.