JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Highlighted by sophomore Jack Dolan‘s eight points, the Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team defeated Drexel, 19-12, Saturday morning at D.B. Milne Field. Dolan’s four goals and four assists rank third-most for a single game in program history.
“Today was another great opportunity for our young group to take another step forward against a very well-coached Drexel team. Each week, we have asked our guys to focus on the process instead of getting caught up in the record. We knew if we took that seriously, the wins would come,” stated head coach John Galloway following the Dolphins’ first win of the season.
“I want to give a tremendous amount of credit first to Jack Dolan. His presence and calm poise is a staple for our team, and he is only a sophomore. To have eight points as a midfielder in incredible, but his three caused turnovers and two ground balls are what makes him stand out. He is a true old school, do-it-all middy,” added Galloway. “I also want to credit our ‘white squad’ who serve to act as the opponent throughout the week. That group takes their job seriously, and we don’t have success without them. Particularly [freshman] Devon Tavani and [sophomore] Michael Dean took it to another level this week; they should get just as much credit as the guys in the box score.”
Despite dreary conditions and a rain-soaked turf playing field, the Dolphins saw a total team effort and led from opening faceoff to the final whistle. Tied at 4-4 after the first quarter, Jacksonville opened up the second with back-to-back goals from freshman Bo BowHunter just 2:03 apart to spark the offense. Though Drexel pulled within one, 6-5, with 5:55 on the clock, JU answered with a decisive 6-0 run that spanned the final 4:54 of the second to 13:44 in the third to double up the Dragons, 12-5. Dolan recorded three of his four goals during that span.
The teams matched each other goal-for-goal thereafter, and Jacksonville continued to hold its momentum despite of a combined 14 minutes’ worth of penalties.
“We are still making a lot of immature mistakes throughout the game and we have an incredible opportunity to learn from those and take the next step as we prep for two top-five teams next weekend in Charlotte. Our dream is to be playing in the Final Four, and we will get a taste of just that next weekend.”
Freshman Hunter Turner won a career-high 19-of-33 faceoffs with seven ground balls, including 6-of-9 in the first quarter and 8-of-10 in the third.
Defensively, junior Hunter Sells recorded eight saves in the first half en route to a 10-save performance. The underclassmen trio of freshmen Jordan Young (4 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers) and Zack Deaken (4 GBs, 2 CTs), along with sophomore captain Dixon Smith (2 GBs, 3 CTs), combined for 10 of Jacksonville’s 28 ground balls and seven of the Dolphins’ 15 caused turnovers, while senior captain Hayden La Vangie picked up two ground balls, caused two turnovers, and added a goal.
The Dolphins hit the road next weekend for the Crown Lacrosse Classic with contests against Towson (March 8 – 5:30 pm) and Penn State (March 10 – 3:30 pm) in Charlotte, N.C.