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Ellis’ GW with :05 Left Caps 4-Goal Run to Lead the JU Women to the 10-9 Win over Liberty in the ASUN Semifinal; Gentile 2G/1A, 9 Other Goal Scorers Lead Dolphins

via JU press release/website, by Nieja Jordan


Dolphins Erase Fourth-Quarter Deficit; Advance To ASUN Championship Game

JACKSONVILLE Fla. – After an overtime victory in Lynchburg, Virginia last week, The one-seeded Jacksonville women’s lacrosse team defeated Liberty a second time at The Rock Thursday afternoon. An intense game with seven ties ended with the Dolphins going on a 4-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter to tie the game and take a 10-9 lead with just seconds left in regulation. Virgina native Lauren Ellis was responsible for the game winning goal.  


GOALS: Hudson Gentile (2)  

GROUND BALLS: Maggie Cuddy (5) Kaila Stasulli (3)  

DRAW CONTROLS: Abby Moran (6) Maggie Cuddy (5) Kaila Stasulli (3) 


Back and forth action saw Liberty take a lead with 40 seconds left to play in the first quarter. The Flames opened the scoring, securing a 1-0 advantage with 10:28 remaining in the quarter. However, the Dolphins responded with a pair of quick goals, featuring a goal by Maeve Brennan, assisted by Second-Team All-ASUN member Mackenzie Boyle. Shortly after, Jenna Peed found the back of the net to see JU take its first lead. After the surge, Liberty answered with back-to-back goals itself, and ended the first quarter with a 3-2 lead. 

The second quarter mirrored the first in terms of intensity and momentum shifts. Ainsley Scruggs tied the game for the third time with a woman-down free position shot. Shortly after, Intense defensive pressure led to a turnover, with Kaila Stasulli scooping up the ground ball. Stasulli then sprinted downfield, and just after crossing half-field, fired a shot that found the back of the net to give the Dolphins a 4-3 lead with 6:51 left before halftime. Liberty responded with another 2-0 run, and led 5-4 at the break. 

With the Dolphins known for their strong second-half performances at The Rock, they lived up to that reputation. Graduate student Hudson Gentile sparked the third-quarter scoring with two consecutive goals, giving the Dolphins a 6-5 lead with 11:25 on the clock. Liberty equalized at 4:28, resulting in the game’s sixth tie, and the Flames then went on to take a 7-6 lead to end the third quarter. 

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Liberty extended its lead to 8-6, marking the largest margin of the game so far. The Flames continued their scoring spree, notching a third consecutive goal to make it 9-6 with 10:36 remaining in the game. After going nearly a quarter without scoring, Julia Nicholson scored her third goal of the season, reigniting the Dolphins’ momentum. Following the Nicholson goal, Boyle scored again, narrowing Liberty’s lead to 9-8. The Dolphins then completed the comeback and the 3-0 run, with LaRen Blakesley scoring to tie the game with just three minutes left. The run did not stop there, as Lauren Ellis took a pass from Boyle and ripped a shot low and to the side of the Liberty goalie to give JU the lead with just under seven seconds to play. The ensuing draw control saw Abby Moran best her Liberty counterpart, and a quick pass up the field saw the clock expire to give Jacksonville the round one win.


With The Dolphins hosting the ASUN tournament, they will face-off play in the championship against the winner of the Lindenwood versus Coastal Carolina game on Saturday, May 4. The championship is set to begin at 1 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN+. 


  • Jacksonville’s goalies finished with 11 saves, three more than Liberty’s netminders
  • JU won the draw control battle 14-to-8 
  • Dolphins only took 24 shots to Liberty’s 30