JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women's lacrosse program advanced to its fourth ASUN Conference title game after defeating Furman, 18-7, in semifinal action Friday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field.
Backed by six second-half goals by senior attacker Danielle Della Rocca, who also became the Dolphins' all-time leading goal scorer in the matchup, the regular season co-champions outscored the Paladins, 10-2, in the latter frame.
"We definitely have a full head of steam coming in, and want to take back what we lost last year," said Della Rocca. "This is just motivation, and it's great we have another chance to face Coastal Carolina. I think we'll be ready this time."
The Dolphins were crowned tournament champions in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and will meet No. 1 Coastal Carolina Sunday at 1 p.m. to decide this season's winner. First draw is scheduled for 1 p.m. at D.B. Milne, and tickets can be purchased at jutickets.com.
There was plenty of action in the early goings of Friday's semifinal with seven goals – highlighted by a hat trick by Jaime Chapman – and two ties. The first minute alone saw each side register a score with fast breaks on their opening possessions, and Jacksonville went on to lead its third-seeded visitors, 5-2, through the first 10 minutes.
The Dolphins rattled in five unanswered scores from the 23:54 to 16:04 marks, and entered halftime up, 8-5.
The spurt continued in the second half with several scores in quick succession; four were tabbed in a span of 2:30 and the Dolphin advantage jumped out to 14-7 with 22:11 on the clock.
Della Rocca struck first with two goals to leadoff the frame, and became JU's all-time leading goal scorer with 24:03 remaining. She currently sits at 55 on the season and 181 in her career.
Morgan Derner previously set the mark at 177 during the 2011-2014 seasons.
"I think it was a great day for the offense all together," said Della Rocca. "I think all of my goals, or at least five out of the six were assisted, so that just shows that it's not just me, it's my whole team behind me leading the way."
Chapman finished the evening with five goals while Sydney Matthews picked up the win on three saves.
"Possessions were really good for us today, and our defense came up with some good caused turnovers and put pressure on them," said head coach Mindy McCord. "We took really good shots, a lot of quality shots. It was a game when it was 10-7, and then we pulled away by people making plays and getting some momentum."
Furman's final score of the evening was an unassisted goal by Devon Horine with 25:47 left to go.