Dolphins Down Michigan in Season Opener

Ashtyn Hiron

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Five Dolphins recorded multiple points Sunday afternoon as Jacksonville University women's lacrosse opened the 2018 season in style with a dominating 14-9 victory over Michigan at D.B. Milne Field.

Led by senior Ashtyn Hiron's six-point performance, JU held the advantage in nearly every statistical category against the Wolverines, including shots (34-20), ground balls (15-11), and draw controls (15-10).

"We're very happy with how the game played out," stated Head Coach Mindy McCord. "We made some good adjustments; they were capitalizing on free positions and in the second half, we didn't give up a free position goal."

The Dolphins (1-0) took an early 3-2 lead on a trio of free-position goals from junior Erin McGuire (22:40) and freshmen Sarah Elms (20:18) and Jenny Kinsey (18:52). The Wolverines (0-2), however, were able to find back-to-back answers as three of their first four goals came at the eight-meter line.

Michigan's early pressure didn't faze Jacksonville as the Dolphins closed out the half on a 6-0 run that extended to the 23:40 mark after halftime. Freshman Alyssa Arnold had a hand it the hosts' first two tallies, while Hiron added three of her five goals, including a last second buzzer-beater with 0.9 seconds before the break.

Elms (28:15) and Kinsey (23:40) pushed JU's lead to 9-5 in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Dolphins had three of the last four tallies in the final 3:26 for the final 14-9 victory.

Added McCord, "There was a key group of players that elevated their play. We played 26 [players] today, so our depth helped us. I never felt that when we subbed, it compromised our competitiveness. Michigan was a great opponent, they were very aggressive, very physical and really gave us a run for our money. They competed hard so we were glad to get that awesome competition.

"We're really happy with the win. Our girls were well prepared and confident and it's something that I hope we can build on."

Freshman Megan Prescott finished the day with a game-high seven draws, while Hiron added three caused turnovers. Senior Emily Poelma recorded three saves to pick up her first win as a Dolphin.

Michigan's Adriana Pendino paced the visitors with a hat trick, while Alli Kothari and Mira Shane combined for seven saves in the loss.

The Dolphins welcome Notre Dame to D.B. Milne Field next Saturday, with opening draw at 1 p.m.