GREENVILLE, S.C. – After suffering its first ASUN Conference regular season defeat in program history, Jacksonville University (11-5, 8-1) rebounded on short notice to down Furman University (10-5, 6-2), 18-7, Saturday at Paladin Stadium. Ashtyn Hiron scored five goals and Courtney Valdez registered six points to lead the charge.
The game's next four goals alternated sides. Furman's Abby Shields scored twice for the hosts while Miller and Valdez answered for Jacksonville. It was a 7-2 JU lead with 13:42 remaining in the half.
Valdez scored again at 12:51 in what turned into a 6-1 Dolphin run. In the same minute, Parker Day got in on the action. It was Shields again with a goal at 7:06 to pause the parade, before a pair of Hiron goals and one from Olivia Alvarez gave JU a nine-goal edge with 1:04 left.
There were three goals in the last minute, with Furman's Devon Horine and Shields scoring at 56 and 45 seconds, and Hiron beating the horn with her fourth goal coming with only three seconds remaining.
Up 13-5 to start the second half, Miller, Hiron, and Valdez piled onto the lead as the Dolphins enabled the running clock. At 13:50, Kasie Lilly scored Furman's first goal of the period, but Miller answered and Danielle Della Rocca scored the final Dolphin goal as Jacksonville won 18-7.
"What a difference 24 hours makes. Our team played tonight the way that they have most of the season and we were truly playing a team game. The wakeup call yesterday will not be forgotten and the lessons were learned. I'm proud of how patient our attack was today. We did the things that lead to success for us. The ball movement and off-ball movement was terrific. Our defense was strong for 55 minutes of the game and our goalie had some great saves. This team has resilience and after driving 12 hours and having a bad outing on Friday, and then 24 hours later competing against a strong Furman team today, I have to say that our team showed heart, courage and fitness. We watched the game film from yesterday earlier today. The entire film. Most of our team couldn't recognize that it was our team playing out there. We were all surprised. So what a great day today!"- JU Associate Head Coach Paul McCord
Jacksonville outshot Furman, 36-16, and won 15 of 27 draw controls. The Dolphins picked up 20 ground balls to the Paladins' 18, and went 18-20 in clear attempts while Furman was only 11-19. Furman totaled 20 turnovers while JU had 12. Goalie Sydney Matthews had seven saves in her win.
Hiron now has 99 career points, and Erika Brager stands two caused turnovers away from tying the JU single-season record.
Jacksonville closes the regular season on Apr. 28 at Stetson before hosting the ASUN Championship May 4-7.