JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the second year in a row, Jacksonville University women's lacrosse will take on Coastal Carolina in the ASUN Conference Tournament Championship. The #1 seeded Dolphins rolled past #4 seed Old Dominion, 17-4, in the ASUN Tournament semifinals, Thursday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field.
"Today was a defensive effort like we have not had this season. We challenged our defense after a poor effort at ODU [earlier in the season] and they responded perfectly," said Associate Head Coach Paul McCord. "Team full-field defense is our specialty and it showed today."
The Dolphins (15-3) held the Monarchs (5-13) to just 12 successful clears on 30 attempts, en route to causing 17 of ODU's 25 turnovers. Jacksonville also held the advantage in shots (47-17), ground balls (28-23), and draw controls (16-7).
ASUN Player of the Year Ashtyn Hiron recorded her eighth game with six or more points this season, behind three goals and three assists. With 62 goals this season, the Perth, Western Australia native also broke the program's single-season record set just a year ago by former Dolphin and current Director of Quality Control and Program Manager Danielle Della Rocca.
An All-ASUN First Team and ASUN All-Freshman Team honoree, Sarah Elms posted five points with four goals and an assist, while fellow All-ASUN First Team selection Lillie Miller added four unassisted goals on the day.
Old Dominion got on the board first as Hanna Breslin converted from the 8-meter line, but All-ASUN Second Team pick Erin McGuire answered back with her own free-position goal at 25:18. Miller found the back of the net just eight seconds later, and McGuire dished to Hiron to make it 3-1 Jacksonville at the 20:14 mark.
Though the visitors came within one, 3-2, with 19:01 showing, the Dolphins quickly put the game out of reach on an 8-0 run spanning through the end of the first half and the opening minutes of the second.
"We talk about shooting well so we don't have to work so hard on the ride, but today we had to ride more because we started slow-shooting the ball. We know what we have to do to step it up," added McCord.
"It was nice to see all the freshmen get their first postseason game under their belt. Parker Day came in and gave our attack a shot in the arm; Lillie [Miller] continues to be on a tear; Sarah [Elms] and Ash [Hiron] were lights out in the second half. Our draw keeps improving – Coastal is the best draw team in the league, so we will see how our investment has paid off on Saturday. We are having a lot of fun out there."
The Dolphins continued their offensive assault in the second half and closed out the game with six of the last eight goals. Elms recorded three of her four goals, while Hiron added a goal and an assist in the final 30 minutes.
With 67 points on the season, Elms tied former Dolphin Morgan Derner's program freshman record, and her 52 goals are just two away from owning the single-season freshman record.
ODU was led by a pair of goals from Sophia Richie, while Breslin finished the day with a goal and an assist. Lauren Ey picked up 13 saves in the loss.
The Dolphins take on #2 Coastal Carolina in the tournament final on Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m.