THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014
WLAX Welcomes A Special Guest for Saturday's Contest
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THE GAME

The Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse team tangles with Old Dominion on Saturday, March 1 at 11 a.m. and will have a special guest for the affair. Mr. Nick Hamel was born with spina bifida and will share his amazing story with the squad before he joins them on the sidelines as an honorary captain.

JU owns the all-time series between the two with a slight 1-0 advantage after defeating the Monarchs, 14-4, last season.

“ODU has a very good coaching staff, veteran returning players and strong goalkeeping,” said Head Coach Mindy McCord. “We hope to continue to build on our solid offensive momentum from the past few games and take what we have worked on this week to play a great possession game and honor Nick through our relentless effort!”

MORE THAN A GAME: A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM NICK’S FATHER

First, my wife Susan and I are deeply touched by the overwhelming display of love and support Nick has received from the JU lacrosse ladies program over these last four years.  Words of gratitude cannot be expressed enough to truly show how appreciative we are of Coach Mindy McCord and the players. Naturally, we have an extra soft spot for Morgan Derner and Kaylee Quint, as they, like Nick are graduates of Lake Mary High and are one of the reasons Nick and I became involved in ladies lacrosse.

Over the years, the sports world (both amateur and professional) have reached out to us to offer a hand of love. No matter how many times it still humbles me and my wife and we are always very grateful. At first we didn't quite understand why, until we realized that Nick not only impacted our lives, he impacts everyone that comes in contact with him.

As one professional athlete told me, “Nick is a gift from God, who was put here to teach us what is really important in life. No matter how hard you try to impact his life for the better, you cannot come close to matching the impact he has on you.”

If his words ring true, than that makes my wife and me the luckiest parents on the face of the earth because we get to enjoy Nick every single day.

We look forward to seeing you all this weekend.

JU’S LAST OUTING: DOWN TO THE WIRE

Last time out, the Fins suffered a double-overtime heartbreaking defeat to James Madison. It was a close contest in the first 35 minutes and things started to get interesting towards the end of regulation.

After the Dolphins used a 3-0 run to take a 15-14 lead over the Dukes with 3:30 remaining, the Dukes sent in a shot less than a minute later to tie the game at 15-15. In true JU fashion, the Dolphins battled to go for the win on a last-second free-position shot but sent the attempt high.

The first two 3-minute overtime sections came up empty, sending the game into a sudden-victory overtime period. With less than 10 seconds left in the frame, the Dukes secured the draw control and knocked in a goal for the 16-15 victory.

A-SUN AWARDS: KEEP EM COMING


Derner earned her first Atlantic Sun Player of the Week award after netting four of her five shots against the Dukes. She also dished an assist to finish the contest with five points.

THE OPPONENT


Old Dominion (1-2) is coming off of a 15-11 victory over Stetson. In the win, junior goalkeeper Karen Hayde picked up her first win of the season with four saves. In total, she has 21 saves with seven scooped ground balls. Senior Emily Austerberry leads the Monarchs with six goals.

UP NEXT

Michigan comes to town on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. Shaking things up a bit, the contest will take place at Southern Oak Stadium instead of D.B. Milne.