PHILADELPHIA – Highlighted by a four-goal run and a solid defensive effort, a strong first half lifted the Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse team to its fourth-straight win – a 7-5 victory at Temple, Saturday afternoon at Howarth Field.
“We were excited to have 300 or so JU fans brave the cold, windy conditions to see us. This is a tough environment to play in,” commented Associate Head Coach Paul McCord following the Dolphins’ road victory. “Our defense played outstanding; the only goals against us were on man-down and free-positions. An amazing defensive effort from [freshman goalie] Dayna Martinetto. I don’t think we have ever had a better goalkeeping effort in 10 years of competition. With a poor offensive game, she and the defense bailed us out. … [They] never wavered.”
The Dolphins (5-2) got on the board early as graduate student Hayley Ciklin capitalized from the eight-meter line just 2:21 into the game. Though the Owls (3-7) tied things up on a Bridget Whitaker tally with 23:24 showing, Jacksonville quickly got back into its rhythm with a 4-0 run.
Sparked by sophomore Jenny Kinsey‘s mark at 19:37, the Dolphins added goals from junior Alexis Deaken (19:37), senior captain Lillie Miller (16:38), and Ciklin (14:20) to command a 5-1 lead halfway through the opening period.
“Hayley Ciklin came up with some critical possessions in the midfield and was a huge contributor in all aspects of transition. Her work ethic and determination to get the ball back or to safely secure the ball over the restraining line in the clear was unparalleled today,” added head coach Mindy McCord.
Temple was able to find just one more goal in the half – a free-position tally from Olivia Thompson at 12:38 – and Jacksonville countered with a goal from sophomore Alyssa Arnold (10:56) less than two minutes later for a 6-2 advantage at the intermission.
Despite three of the four goals scored in the second half coming off the stick of Owl players, Jacksonville’s impressive defense held strong as Martinetto recorded a career-high 13 saves and seven ground balls in the win.
In front of Martinetto, senior captain and defender Erica Beal and junior midfielder Jackie Benedict recorded two caused turnovers each, while freshman defender Maddie Sturgell chipped in three ground balls. Kinsey picked up a team-high four draw controls to go along with three ground balls as well.
The Dolphins return to action tomorrow, March 24 when they visit Howard for a noon contest.