Jacksonville Controls Draws to Down Wagner

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Carrying a decided advantage in the draw control battle, Jacksonville University women's lacrosse continued its stellar performance at D.B. Milne on Wednesday with a 13-8 victory over Wagner.

Taylor McCord (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored four goals and dished three assists to pace JU's offense, while Danielle Della Rocca (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) chipped in with a hat trick and Rachel Aus (Annapolis, Md.) finished the affair with two goals and a ground ball.

"We came into this game planning to give a lot of experience to our second and third line players," said Assistant Coach Paul McCord. "Wagner played a very physical and tough game. From an offensive standpoint, when you dominate the draw 18 to five and take 44 shots we expect more like 20 to 22 goals. The shots just weren't falling today. Fortunately, defensively we picked it up and played well for most of the game."

The Dolphins held a slight 2-0 lead early on before trading a few scores with Wagner to push to a 3-2 tip at the midpoint of the frame. The remainder of the period was all in favor of the Fins as McCord found Kelsey Wiglesworth (Towson, Md.) in the crease (9:49) to kindle an eight-goal JU rally that would stretch 13 minutes into the second stanza.

A free-position goal, 11-3, ended Wagner's scoring lull with 17:23 to play and from then on the team began to chip away at JU's lead. Kristin Purdy (Lake Worth, Fla.) laced Jacksonville's final goal, 13-5, at 7:33 and the Seahawks capitalized on fouls and turnovers to close the game with three more goals.

"I think that we got off to a slow start but this game was really just about setting the standard higher after making mistakes, doing better after that and pushing each other to make things happen," said Taylor McCord. "Wins like this just really motivate us to do better. We have higher standards for ourselves and for each other, we just need to work hard and reach them."

Brittney Orashen (Lebanon, N. J.) recorded a game-high five draws with four groundballs and an assist and teammate Ali Hoffman (Gambrills, Md.) grabbed six groundballs. Asia Moore (Apex, N.C.) also had a busy game. Facing 22 shots, she recorded nine saves in her fifth win of the season.

"It was nice to see us convert and hold them to 14 out of 24 successful clears," said Assistant Coach Sarah Gallion. "Defensively, we had some nice work out of our goaltender with nine saves. We also had a team-high 15 caused turnovers which is our goal. It was good to see a lot of players contribute to that stat."

JU continues its home slate next Wednesday, March 26 when they host conference rival Kennesaw State at D.B. Milne at 4:00 p.m.

"We have a lot of hard practices ahead of us and we're going to work as hard as we can to pull off a big win against Kennesaw," said Taylor McCord.

* * * *

Jacksonville, FL - Wagner dropped a 13-8 decision at Jacksonville this afternoon which, on the heels of Monday's night's 11-10 win at Stetson, gives the Seahawks a split of their two spring break games in the state of Florida.

Wagner now owns a record of 3-4 on the season, while the Dolphins improve to 5-4.

The Seahawks are next in action on Tuesday, March 25 when they travel to UMBC for a 4:00 pm contest vs. the Retrievers.

An unassisted goal by sophomore Shea Gegan (Manasquan, NJ/Manasquan), with 10:12 remaining in the first half, drew the Seahawks to within one goal at 3-2. Jacksonville then closed the opening half on a 4-0 run in seizing a 7-2 halftime lead.

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