JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Highlighted by five goals in 49 seconds to break open the game, Jacksonville University women's lacrosse produced a memorable highlight reel on Senior Day en route to a 21-7 victory over Stetson in the ASUN Conference regular season finale, Sunday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field. The win capped the Dolphins' league slate at 5-0 for their fifth unblemished mark in the past six seasons, and fifth outright and sixth overall ASUN Regular Season title.
The Dolphins (14-3, 5-0 ASUN) took an early 3-1 lead with goals from freshman Sarah Elms (27:58), senior Ashtyn Hiron (27:24), and junior Lillie Miller (25:22). However, the Hatters posted back-to-back tallies to deadlock the game with 22:06 on the clock to set up the Dolphins' incredible barrage of textbook speedy goals evidenced through The System.
Hiron notched back-to-back tallies beginning with a free-position goal at 21:49 before she buried a feed from Miller just 10 seconds later. Miller then converted her second of four 8-meter goals at 21:21. Hiron followed up with an unassisted tally at 21:12, then found Elms with 21:00 showing to lift the Dolphins to an 8-3 lead.
"We connected in that transition game, which was cool to see," stated Head Coach Mindy McCord. "That changed the whole momentum of the game."
Indeed, the momentum swung radically in favor of the Dolphins as Jacksonville added nine more goals to close out the first half and open the second.
"All of the hard work that we put into the draw, we saw. Stetson showed up and they were ready to play. Just credit all the hard work the girls have put into the draw," added Associate Head Coach Paul McCord.
Hiron and Miller combined for 12 of the Dolphins' 21 goals as the pair of captains matched program and career highs. Hiron mirrored the program's single game record with seven goals and added an assist for her second-straight game – and fifth time this season – with eight points. Miller added a career-high five points and dished an assist for her second six-point game this season. Elms was the Dolphins' only other multi-goal scorer as she finished the day with two tallies and an assist.
"Lillie really stepped up today; she was a dominant presence. She took our center on the draw and that led to some good possessions for us," observed Paul McCord.
Along with their timely successive scoring, the Dolphins held the Hatters (4-13, 1-4 ASUN) to just 15 good clears on 23 attempts. Jacksonville caused 20 of Stetson's 24 turnovers, and gave the ball up just nine times.
"Our ride was very effective today; we did a good job of slowing their transition down and making it hard to clear," Mindy McCord noted. "Our ability to cause turnovers, but limit our own, is where you see the bigger separation in score. It was nice to see our seniors elevate our game. [The team] brought a lot of enthusiasm for the seniors today, so it just shows that great team chemistry and that they really work hard for each other."
Hiron finished the day with a team-high five ground balls, eight draw controls, and caused two turnovers, while Miller totaled a ground ball, three draws, a pair of caused turnovers, and went 4-for-4 on free-position opportunities.
Graduate goalie Emily Poelma recorded three first-half saves to pick up the win and split time in the crease with junior Kristen Brunoforte, who made one stop to close out the final 18:55 of the game.
Riley Reagan led the Hatters with three points (1 goal, 2 assists), while Hallie Merz added a pair of goals. Liza Diamond posted five saves in each half and endured the loss.
"Now we have to reset for the postseason," said Paul McCord. "We're excited – this is when the fun begins and what you prepare for your entire season."
The Dolphins earned the #1 seed in the upcoming ASUN Tournament, hosted at D.B. Milne Field. Jacksonville will take on the #4 seed in the first semifinal on Thursday, May 3, at a time to be determined. The tournament final is set for Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m.