JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse team earned back-to-back victories over opposing conference champions, with its latest over last year’s MAAC Regular Season Champion Marist in a 20-10 win Sunday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field.
Led by sophomore Alyssa Arnold‘s seven points (6 goals, 1 assist) and graduate student Hayley Ciklin‘s five (3 goals, 2 assists), the Dolphins continued their tradition of high-scoring affairs.
With goals in each of the first four minutes, Jacksonville (4-2) quickly took the lead as sophomore Jenny Kinsey (29:03), Arnold (28:41, 27:56), and sophomore Megan Prescott (26:29) all found the back of the net in the opening minutes.
“The tenor of the game was attack, attack, attack by both teams in the first half,” said Associate Head Coach Paul McCord following the game. “The defense did a good job of hanging in there; they remained tough. We made a couple adjustments in the first half and held them scoreless for nearly 20 minutes [18:25] through the second and that was just outstanding defense.”
Marist (3-5) countered with a three-goal run of its own before the teams traded points up until the 4:44 mark, when the Dolphins extended their two-goal, 10-8 lead, and closed out the half with five-straight. Highlighted by two goals and an assist from Ciklin during that run, the Dolphins held a solid 15-8 advantage heading into the locker room.
In the first half alone, Arnold tallied five goals and caused two Red Fox turnovers, while Ciklin posted all five of her points.
The pair’s effort was contagious as the Dolphins continued on with four more goals through the first 15 minutes of the second half, as Arnold dished to freshman Molly Brock (26:52) before netting her sixth and final goal with 15:23 showing.
Jacksonville’s 9-0 run spanning the first and second halves was too much for Marist, and the Red Foxes scored just twice in the second half thanks to the Dolphins’ tenacious defense. Junior Casey Sullivan led the Dolphins with four caused turnovers, while freshman goalie Dayna Martinetto picked up six ground balls en route to a six-save performance between the pipes. Redshirt-freshman Sharn Muffett closed out the final 3:14 of the game and added a save in the crease. On the draw, junior McKenna Rushford and freshman Molly Brock tallied four draw controls each.
Added McCord, “Offensively, we know Alyssa Arnold can be one of the best players in the country. She really played two steps faster than she has all year. Jenny Kinsey found the net, which was nice; Hayley Ciklin – she’s had eight goals and three assists in the last two games. Defensively, Casey Sullivan was our anchor; Dayna [Martinetto] helped us out a lot in there.”
Speaking on the depth of their bench, McCord noted freshman defender Shannon Cotter’s efforts in today’s game, “She battles hard in practice on the crease. Today when we were struggling a little bit on the crease, we called her number and she went out and didn’t give up anything. I’m very proud of the type of bench we have and how they wait for their opportunities.”
With three points each, Marist was led by Hailey Wagner (2 goals, 1 assist), Samantha Mehalick (2g, 1a), and Devon Connolly (3g), while goalie Delaney Gavin posted three saves in the loss.
Another weekend with back-to-back games awaits the Dolphins as they head north to pay a visit to Temple on Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m., before meeting Howard on Sunday, March 24 at noon.