Balanced Jax Buries Liberty, 23-4
from press release
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Seven players scored multiple goals as the JU women's lacrosse team set a season-high for goals in a single game en route to a 23-4 National Lacrosse Conference victory over Liberty on Friday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field.
Morgan Derner and Chelsea Watts each recorded hat tricks, leading a group that featured 14 different scorers for the Dolphins. Every eligible player on the roster saw action. The Dolphins have now won four in a row to improve to 8-4 and 3-0. In NLC wins over High Point, Davidson and Liberty, JU has out-scored its conference foes by an aggregate score of 53-23. JU finished just one goal shy of matching its program record for most goals in a single game.
The Dolphins surged to a 16-4 halftime run and shut-out the Flames in the second half to preserve the victory. Liberty, which entered as one of three NLC teams unbeaten in league play, fell to 4-5 and 2-1. Derner tallied her team-leading ninth multi-goal game this season, finishing with a team-leading five points. The freshman attacker now has 32 goals through her first 12 collegiate games and joined Cassie Campasano as the only players in team history to crack the 30-goal mark.
JU and Liberty exchanged a pair of goals through the opening 8:01. But the Dolphins dominated in the final 51 minutes, finishing on a 21-2 run. The total goal mark exceeded the output in a 22-2 win over LIU on March 16, meaning the Dolphins have out-scored opponents, 75-25 during the winning streak. After Liberty's Kristin Crowley scored the first of her two goals to tie the score at 2, the Dolphins scored eight unanswered goals in the next 11 minutes to initiate the blowout.
Jen Cosgrove's unassisted marker started the onslaught, followed by Derner's first two goals and Watt's free-position strike. Sarah Michel and Nicole Albino added two more goals before Derner picked up her third goal of the opening half at 8:59, marking her first sixth hat trick in her first collegiate season. Freshman Kelly Baisey capped the 8-0 run with the first of her two goals.
The first-year middie scored again off a FPS attempt in the second half for her first career multi-goal game. The score allowed some JU players to experiment with different roles. Junior Jessica Hotchkiss, who has been one of the Dolphins most reliable defenders, joined a rush midway through the second half and beat Liberty goalie Blaire Barnhart from nearly 10 meters out for her first goal of the season and a 17-4 edge.
Katelyn Thompson earned playing time and made her minutes count. Appearing in just her second game this season, the sophomore attacker rounded out JU's scoring with an unassisted goal. Thompson has two goals on the year.
A battle for first place will on the line on Sunday when the Dolphins conclude the home portion of the schedule with a key noon game against Longwood at D.B. Milne Field with first place on the line. The Lancers are coming off a 20-9 win over Presbyterian to improve to 8-3 and 4-0. The winner of the JU-Longwood contest will sit in sole possession of the NLC's top spot and will control its own destiny for the top seed in the conference tournament later this month.