via JU press release/website, by Alex Kerstetter, photo by Katie Denson
WATSON NETS SIX IN DOLPHINS FIRST ASUN CONFERENCE GAME
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa.- The Jacksonville men’s lacrosse team defeated the Robert Morris Colonials 12-6 in their conference opener. Dylan Watson netted six goals in the winning effort.
JU STAT LEADERS
GOALS – Dylan Watson (6)
ASSISTS – Dylan Watson (3)
CAUSED TURNOVERS – Davis Smith (3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
On a Saturday that saw almost every element from the weather, the Dolphins met last years ASUN Conference Champion in Robert Morris to kick start 2023 conference play. Robert Morris scored first just under four minutes into the contest. Max Waldbaum then followed up 30 seconds later to tie the game, and three consecutive goals by Brandon Galloway, Jackson Intrieri and Dylan Watson saw JU hold a 4-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter again saw the Colonials strike first, only to be canceled out by Dylan Watson again. Waldbaum found net twice more, completing his first half hat-trick, and Robert Morris scored one to limit the Dolphins damage to a four goal lead at the half.
Last years conference champions in Robert Morris would not go away quietly though, and the Colonials scored three of the first four goals in the fourth quarter to shrink the difference down to just two.
Enter, Dylan Watson.
With around 10 seconds left in the quarter the Colonials turned the ball over on their offensive third and Cole Daninger quickly ripped a 40 yard pass across the turf to Watson who netted his third of the game with five seconds remaining. Not four seconds later, Watson took a pass from Jackson Intrieri and again sent a laser into the cage for a buzzer beating two-goal swing. Suddenly the Dolphins had a four goal lead entering the final quarter.
Stout defense, and a pair of Watson goals in the fourth saw Jacksonville separate from the Colonials en route to their fifth straight win and first win in conference play this season.
WHAT THEY SAID
“It is nice to get a win against the defending conference champs on the road,” said head coach John Galloway on his teams conference opening victory. “I have a lot of respect for Robert Morris, so anytime you can win, we will take it. We did a terrible job coaching in some areas of the game, so I am excited to challenge myself to improve how we operate Monday through Friday to get better in between the lines. I am really proud of our defense digging in for 60 minutes, and for Luke Millican’s stellar performance in the net. I am also proud of our sideline energy in adverse weather. They are setting the standard for how we want to act in conference play.”
“I wish I could take credit for any adjustments,” further added Galloway on any adjustments his side made late in the game as JU controlled the pace of play. “Our defense simply buckled down and played physically. I am proud of that group.”
“Dylan was obviously a key piece on the stat sheet,” coach Galloway said on Watson’s nine point performance. “But some of that was a product of the face-off game and transition. He has a knack for the back of the net, and we have to continue to give him more opportunities like that.”
Watson’s nine points is a team high this season and is tied for the second most in program history in a single game
Watson, Waldbaum and Intrieri combined for 16 points
Davis Smith, Tucker Garrity and Jack Heed all had at least two caused turnovers
The Dolphins return home to the Rock next Saturday when Mercer visits Jacksonville for another ASUN matchup.