HIGH POINT, N.C. – It was a cool and overcast day to open the 2021 season as the Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse team took on High Point University for the first time since 2012. Despite trailing by as much as six in the game, the Dolphins (1-0) rallied in the second half to knock off the Panthers (0-1) in the final 50 seconds, winning 14-13.
“The opportunity to take the field today during a pandemic was a blessing and the win on the road was extra special,” said head coach Mindy McCord. “The first half was our preseason – the second half was our regular season. I am proud of the perseverance of our players today and it was nice to see our defense settle in in the second half, holding High Point to four goals.”
“Our draw control unit came up with key possessions and we had eight different players score. High Point is a veteran opponent that is a consistent Top-25 program. We are thankful to have been put to the test against such a talented team in our season opener.”
The game began with High Point scoring the first two goals of the afternoon before the Dolphins rattled off four unanswered goals. Megan Prescott scored the first goal of the season for JU just about eight minutes into the game and newcomer Brianna Samuels scored her first goal to tie things minutes later. 73 seconds elapsed before the Dolphins took their first lead of the game, as a shot from Sarah Elms found the back of the net. ASUN Preseason Player of the Year Jenny Kinsey scored the final goal of the half for Jacksonville to make it 4-2 with 13:51 remaining. The Panthers responded by scoring seven goals to end the half and take a 9-4 edge into the locker room.
After High Point scored moments into the second half, Prescott scored her second goal of the game followed by Casey Sullivan and Kinsey’s second goal of the afternoon to make it 10-7 game. Jacksonville would score again at 17:24 courtesy of Lauren Phillips, but after the officials proceeded with their stick check, Phillips’ stick was ruled to be illegal and the goal was waved off.
After the Panther scored twice to go back ahead by five at 12-7, Kasey Stevens started a 4-0 run for the Dolphins with just over nine minutes remaining and was followed by Alyssa Arnold, who scored less than 30 seconds later to make it 12-9. Elms scored a short-handed goal at 6:56 and picked up her third goal of the game moments later to get JU within one at 12-11.
A High Point goal with 4:31 left put them back ahead by two, but the Dolphins continued their hot shooting, as Molly Brock found the net 40 seconds later to get back within one before Kinsey scored the equalizer less than 30 seconds later.
The final three minutes were scoreless until a High Point foul resulted in a free position attempt for Elms with 48 seconds remaining. Elms’ shot appeared to be partially blocked but still had enough on it to get past the goalie for the go-ahead score.
Eight different Dolphins scored in the game, led by Elms with four goals and Kinsey with three. JU outshot High Point 26-12 in the second half, including at 14-7 edge in shots on goal and also won the turnover battle, forcing 21 and collecting 24 ground balls as well.
The Dolphins will next be in action on March 6 at East Carolina, with a start time set for 12 PM.