JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The month of April will decide much of the Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team’s fate as the Dolphins (1-6) will play four consecutive Atlantic Sun games leading up to the conference tournament in May. Before they get started on the home stretch though, the Dolphins will try to wrap up the non-conference season on a high note when JU travels to take on Ohio State (2-6) on Saturday in Columbus. First face-off is set for 2:30 p.m. with a live broadcast available for $9.95 on Buckeye Vision.
Last week saw Jacksonville come up short at Robert Morris after falling behind by five goals in the first half. A big run beginning late in the third quarter and into the fourth brought the Dolphins back to within a single goal at 10-9, but JU couldn’t complete the comeback and the team suffered its second straight defeat. Tom Moore completed a hat trick in the fourth quarter and has scored seven times in the last two games to up his team-leading goal tally to 12 on the season. He has added eight assists to register 20 points and rank fourth in the conference at 2.86 points per game. Tom’s brother, Rob Moore, added a pair of goals as well for the Dolphins, while Ari Waffle had three helpers in the contest.
Ohio State has shared common opponents with Jacksonville in its last two games, claiming a win last weekend over Bellarmine before suffering a 13-7 loss to Notre Dame on Tuesday afternoon. The Buckeyes came into the season ranked No. 14 in the preseason USILA poll, but had consecutive overtime losses to start the season and haven’t fully recovered. Junior attacker Jesse King leads the team with 15 goals and 24 points on the season, while Turner Evans has a team-high 14 assists. The goalkeeper situation for OSU will be interesting to watch, as Greg Dutton has started six games on the year only to see Scott Spencer receive his first action on Tuesday against the Fighting Irish, starting and playing 58 minutes in front of the cage.
Saturday’s contest will be a rematch from last season’s Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic in which Ohio State came away with a 9-6 win. David Goldman, Waffle and Rob Wertz all had goals in the game for the Dolphins a year ago, and the score was tied midway through the second quarter before the Buckeyes gradually pulled away for the victory at EverBank Field.
Jacksonville will return home for the next two weeks and jumps back into Atlantic Sun play a month after its conference opener. The Dolphins host the Keydets of VMI on April 5 at 1 p.m. back at D.B. Milne Field.