Dolphins playoff hopes take a hit with second straight one-goal loss
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Marist’s Connor Rice scored a man-up goal 2:27 into overtime as the JU men’s lacrosse team lost a heartbreaking 9-8 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup to the Red Foxes on Saturday at D.B. Milne Field.
For the second straight week, the Dolphins lost by a single goal at home. JU lost its third straight conference game overall, falling to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Dolphins will need to win next week at VMI in order to be in contention to qualify for the MAAC Tournament. Only the top-four teams in the seven-team league will play in the postseason.
Marist (5-6, 2-2) scored the tying goal with 54 seconds left in regulation on Corey Zindel’s goal, sending the game into the extra session. JU’s Stephen Spindler was whistled for a one-minute cross-checking penalty at 2:16 and RiceÂ capitalized, taking Zindel’s feed and firing a close-range shot past goalie Peter DeLuca for Marist’s fourth straight win.
Freshman midfielder Rob Moore posted his first career hat trick for the Dolphins, tallying three goals and an assist for a game-high four points and TJ Kenary scored twice. But JU lost another close contest, having dropped its last three games by a combined four goals.
The Dolphins surged to a 3-0 lead in the opening period. Kenary opened the scoring 46 seconds in and Moore responded with back-to-back goals 1:25 apart. Bob von Hoffman and Rice responded with two goals before the first-quarter horn.
Rice, who led Marist’s attack with three goals, added his second of the contest early in the second quarter. JP Ricker and Donovan Lange notched second-quarter scoring strikes to give JU a 5-4 halftime lead.
JU finished with a 44-32 edge in shots. But Marist won the possession battle, coming up with 14-of-22 faceoffs. The Red Foxes also drew five penalties, though Rice’s game-winner was the only man-up goal. JU finished 0-for-1 on man-up chances.
Moore became JU’s go-to offensive player, firing nine shots. The first-year middie registered his third-career multi-goal game and scored three goals in a game for the first time. He netted two goals versus Siena and has five goals in the last two games.
Moore appeared to give the Dolphins the lead for good, taking Max Gurowski’s left-wing pass and beating Marist goalie Brendan Price (13 saves) with 4:43 left in the fourth quarter for an 8-7 JU lead.
Marist then finished a come-from-behind victory, setting up a critical contest for the Dolphins next week. JU will head to Lexington, Va. to face the Keydets at noon on April 24 in a must-win game. The Dolphins could also need help, depending on what transpires in MAAC play this weekend.