SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – They say that great defense travels. The Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team (3-2) proved that theory on Saturday afternoon at Utah (1-4) with a dominating effort on the defensive side of the ball to collect an 8-3 victory ahead of its titanic matchup with top-ranked Duke next weekend.
Eight different Dolphins contributed points, an additional four caused turnovers, while Jason Yoquinto started and played all 60 minutes in goal, making three saves. Jeremy Winston scored twice, Jack Dolan added a goal and an assist while Troy Hettinger, Sam Chase, Cooper Trepeta and Curtis Goddard all contributed goals. Nathan Kapp even picked up a score while going 8-14 on the dot.
“Today served as a chance for us to answer a lot of the questions that were brought up after our Navy trip,” head coach John Galloway said. “The character of the group was challenged, and they answered each day of practice this week. Defensively, we put ego aside and become a unit. Colin Hinton, Conor Shears, Jack Heed, Jordan Young and Dixon Smith answered the bell, and our short sticks led by Zack Deaken followed suit. They were pushed by Seth Hogue and Tyler Morris all week, and that was the difference today.”
Utah was first on the board at the 10:40 mark in the first quarter. That was the lone score over the first 15 minutes as both defenses locked down early. The Dolphins provided the fireworks in the second quarter. Kapp got the party started as Jacksonville embarked on an extended 6-0 run.
Chase, Trepeta and Hettinger all scored in succession before Goddard canned his score after an extended penalty kill for JU. The Dolphins took a 5-1 advantage into the locker room as a result. By the close of the first half, JU was outshooting Utah, 21-9. The Dolphins put nine shots on cage in the second quarter alone.
Jeremy Winston scored his first early in the third quarter to cap off the 6-0 run and give JU its largest lead of the afternoon, 6-1. The two sides traded scores the rest of the way to achieve the 8-3 result at the close. Winston bookended the second half with his second score to close out the scoring in this one.
“I think we left some great chances on the table offensively,” Galloway continued, “but Nathan Kapp gave us the possessions we needed to keep grinding. We are a work in progress, but I thanked the group after the game for their selflessness to each other. Now we go back to work as we welcome the No. 1 team in the country to Rock Beach!”
Next up for Jacksonville will be a date with No. 1 Duke at D.B. Milne field on Mar. 14. That game is set to get started at 1 p.m. EST. Jacksonville will be looking for its first victory in three tries against the No. 1 team in the land.