Dolphins Down Hatters in Atlantic Sun Semifinals

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the postseason the final games can all be summarized in three words: survive and advance. After posting a 20-4 victory over No. 4 Stetson, Jacksonville will move on to play in the Atlantic Sun championship on Sunday.

"We're thrilled," said Head Coach Mindy McCord. "I thought the team played at a really high level. Our goal is to keep focusing on the things that we need to in order to get better. Today we played our game. We are so excited to be playing for another conference championship and I was proud of our team's collective effort today."

On a rainy Friday afternoon, the Dolphins offense was anything but gloomy. It only took fifty seconds for the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Morgan Derner, to put the Dolphins on the board and the attacker later recorded a hat trick to push the squad to a 6-0 advantage with 19:32 left on the first half clock.

Creating opportunities on turnovers, Kristin Ridenour brought the Green and Gold crowd to its feet when she leaped into the air to snatch an intended Stetson pass. She then charged downfield to find Danielle Della Rocca in the crease for JU's ninth unanswered score.

By intermission, the Fins held to a 14-0 lead. JU overwhelmed the Hatters with a 14-1 draw control advantage and limited the team to just four shots.

Mary Kate O'Sullivan interrupted the Dolphins shutout opportunity when she knocked in a free-position goal to make it a 17-1 contest at the 22:54 mark of the second half. The goal was quickly erased on the other side of the field when Taylor McCord assisted on Della Rocca's fourth goal. In the final 10 minutes, Stetson tacked on three more goals with a pair of free-position shots and an unassisted score but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the large deficit the Dolphins had put the Hatters in.

Della Rocca concluded the game with four goals and an assist. Derner recorded a hat trick and four others added two goals each. Defensively, Ridenour finished the game as JU's leader with five ground balls, five draw controls and four caused turnovers.

Playing the entire first half, keeper Asia Moore gave up no goals while posting three saves.

The semifinal win allows Jacksonville to move on to the Sunday's conference championship. They will meet No. 3 Detroit at noon in a game that will air live on CSS.

When asked is there a team she'd rather see in the championship, Coach McCord had this to say: "We try to not to focus on that. Both teams are great and competitive and we look forward to preparing for whoeveradvances."

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville defeated Stetson 20-4 in the Atlantic Sun women's lacrosse semifinal on Friday afternoon to advance to the championship game.

A-Sun Player of the Year, Morgan Derner scored the first goal of the A-Sun Championship Semifinal to give the Dolphins the early lead. Derner scored a hat trick within the first 10 minutes of the game. Her third goal of the match was her 40th this season; second-most in the A-Sun.

JU went into the half with a 14-0 lead that the squad would hold onto for the rest of the game. At halftime, eight different Dolphins had scored goals. Asia Moore of Jacksonville picked up three first half saves in goal off of Stetson's four shots to collect the first half shutout.

Jacksonville's freshman Danielle Della Rocca led the squad in scoring with four goals in the game while adding an assist. Kristen Ridenour also put up a strong performance as the A-Sun Freshman team member led the game with five draw controls and four caused turnovers. JU's Sam Baur picked up a game-high six ground balls in the victory.

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