JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The JU men’s lacrosse team has been down this road recently and coach Guy Van Arsdale is wary of the potential pot holes.
The Dolphins (2-3) play host to Mercer Saturday at 1 p.m. and because the Bears are winless at 0-6 and have yet to win a Division I game in their history, the first year JU coach isn’t very comfortable this week.
Last week, winless Michigan came to town and the Dolphins had to go to overtime to win and a repeat performance isn’t what Van Arsdale has in mind.
“It’s scary,” he said. “Those kids are hungry and that’s the part I think is admirable. It must be their coach (Jason Childs) is doing a great job to watch how hard they play every time they take the field. That’s a real testimony to them and that makes them even more dangerous. They would love to change that and love to change that on Saturday.”
For the Bears, the game will be the third at D.B. Milne Field this week. They lost to Michigan and Holy Cross earlier.
“They’ve got a group of kids who play with energy and play hard and that makes them a dangerous team,” Van Arsdale said. “One thing we’ve been having trouble doing is sustaining and maintaining intensity and when you run into a team where you do match intensity and energy you can make yourself get stuck in a pretty negative place.”
The Dolphins have been focusing on themselves most of this week, according to Van Arsdale.
“We’re still a work in progress as to how to go about preparing,” he said. “We need to compete every day and understand that there’s not a switch you flick on game day that all the sudden intense and tough competitor.”
The Bears are led by Zack Walker with nine goals and Cole Branch with seven.
JU’s offense is led by TJ Kenary’s 10 goals while captain Cam Mann and freshman Ari Waffle have nine. Both Mann and Waffle also have nine assists each.
Defensively, senior Jake Ziegler is the team leader with caused 10 turnovers and picked up 12 ground balls.
The game is scheduled to be shown on asun.tv.