JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University (2-3) outlasted Niagara University (2-2) by a score of 12-8 Wednesday at D.B. Milne Field. Lillie Miller was one of four Dolphins to score twice in addition to her five ground balls, four caused turnovers, a pair of draw controls, and an assist.
Jacksonville buzzed the scoreboard first with a pair of quick strikes. Danielle Della Rocca scored at 28:25 and Courtney Valdez followed up 25 seconds later. After a Niagara Alexis Morales goal at 25:45, JU scored on consecutive free position shots. Rachel Aus (24:42) and Kasey Stevens (22:18), whose goal was her Dolphin first, gave the hosts a 4-1 edge.
Niagara scored two unanswered before Miller popped the back of the net at 15:37. She led a four-goal run in which Miller scored twice along with Della Rocca and Jaime Chapman. Morales broke the streak for the Purple Eagles with a score at 5:43, but Stevens scored the finale time in the half with an unassisted shot at 3:33.
Parker Day scored unassisted at 28:12 but Jacksonville was held scoreless until 9:01 when Hannah Wilcox drilled her first of the season. Morales scored twice and Rachel MacCheyne had goals for the Purple Eagles in the second half. Wilcox added another unassisted at 2:21.
"I'm pleased how well Lillie Miller and Hannah Wilcox stepped up today with Ashtyn Hiron out with the flu. Those two were the dynamic duo in the midfield. Kasey Stevens was also a huge factor and the three mids combined for six goals on 10 shots and had a bevy of draws, caused turnovers and ground balls. This was also a third-consecutive solid outing for Sydney Matthews. She had another double-digit save game and in her last three outings, her save percentage is close to 60%. We need to continue to grow on defense, and on attack our second half efficiency was not there. We had a strong first half but we need to get things moving faster in the second half and limit our turnovers. Team win today without two starting players and that says a lot about this team. Credit Niagara - they fought hard and were very well prepared for us. They are well-coached and have some tremendous players who are much better now than they were in their one-goal loss to Colgate last week. They are a team on the rise. Now it's time to focus on Stoney Brook." – JU Associate Head Coach Paul McCord
Each team picked up 22 ground balls. Jacksonville had 17 turnovers to Niagara's 23, but the Purple Eagles won 13 draw controls to the Dolphins' nine. Matthews had 11 saves to pick up her second win of the season.
Jacksonville continues its eight-game home stretch with a Mar. 13 contest vs. Stony Brook. First draw is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and free pink t-shirts will be given to the first 50 fans for a pink-out game.