JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The postseason officially begins on Thursday, but the urgency of a win-or-go-home game started a week early for the Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team. A bid into the Atlantic Sun Championship wasn’t locked up until the Dolphins came away with a 13-11 win at Furman on Saturday. With that out of the way, the elimination contests continue for JU on Thursday afternoon in Macon, Ga. when the Dolphins meet High Point at 3:30 p.m. A free live stream of the game will be available on ASun.TV.
In two previous meetings between Jacksonville and High Point, each team has claimed a one-goal victory over the other, so another close battle is expected. On March 1, JU traveled north to face the Panthers in the Atlantic Sun opener. Despite taking a 6-3 lead into the fourth quarter, the Dolphins couldn’t hold onto the lead as HPU’s advantage on face-offs helped the Panthers to score five unanswered goals. High Point then held off Jacksonville in the closing minutes after David Goldman cut JU’s deficit to one, and an extra-man opportunity for the Dolphins in the final minute was turned aside. Rob Wertz led Jacksonville’s offense with a hat trick in the game, while Pete DeLuca tied his season high with 19 saves.
Though held in check the first time around against the Panthers, Tom Moore had no trouble against the rest of the A-Sun. Of Moore’s 24 goals this season, 11 have come in the past month against the other four conference opponents. Meanwhile, Rob Moore has led the Dolphins in points against the A-Sun, registering nine goals and seven assists.
High Point’s two major offensive weapons are sophomore attackers Dan Lomas and Matt Thistle. Lomas leads the A-Sun in goals with 35 on the season, while Thistle tops the assist charts with 33 and has a team-high 47 points on the season. In goal, Austin Geisler leads the conference and is second in the nation in saves with 13.79 per game. HPU’s man-down defense is ranked fourth nationally, killing off penalties at a .750 clip.
Should Jacksonville come away with the victory, it would await the winner of the other semifinal – a 7 p.m. meeting between No. 1 seed Mercer and No. 4 seed Richmond – in Saturday’s championship game. That contest is set for 1 p.m and will also be an ASun.TV broadcast.