Freshman attacker Jen Cosgrove netted a game-high four goals in her collegiate debut to lead the JU womenâ€™s lacrosse team to a season-opening 18-10 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field.
Sophomore attacker Sarah Michel tallied her second career hat trick as the Dolphins posted a wire-to-wire victory over the Big East-member Bearcats to win the first season opener in program history. Six JU players registered multi-goal games and sophomore Karli Tobin made nine saves to preserve the victory.
Middie Kaitlin Stewart made her first game as a freshman a memorable one, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Fellow freshman Nikki Erdely followed with a two-goal outing of her own and sophomore Rachel Krell also scored to sustain the offensive outburst.
JU surged to a 3-0 lead through the opening 7:03 capped by the first of sophomore middie Ellyn Spangenbergâ€™s two goals on the afternoon. Cosgrove, who needed just six shots to score four goals, racked up two in the opening half.
Michel, who also recorded a hat trick against Davidson last season, opened the scoring at 3:21 and added two more in the second half.
Cincinnatiâ€™s Natalie Starvaggi and Katie Liberatore scored twice, but the Bearcats fell to 0-1. Cincinnati closed strong in the first half, scoring three of the last four goals to cut JUâ€™s lead to 8-7 at the break.
But the Dolphins scored nine of the next 10 goals to open the second half while holding the Bearcats to just one goal through 21:38. Coming out of the break, Nicole Albino and Melissa Jaworski each scored free-position goals just 40 seconds apart for a 10-7 edge.
JU scored four goals through the opening eight minutes of the second half to pull away. The Dolphins controlled the ball well and forced seven missed Cincinnati clears, building a 22-14 edge in ground balls on the fast artificial turf.
The Dolphins were boosted by its young roster with 14 goals coming from freshmen or sophomores. Freshman Morgan Derner contributed two second-half insurance goals in her first NCAA game, ending any hopes of a late Cincinnati comeback.
JU started a season-opening three-game home-stand in impressive fashion and will look to continue its hot start on Wednesday when it hosts geographic-rival Florida at the Ashley Sports Complex. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.