On the brink of more history: JU lacrosse teams reach conference championship games
The Jacksonville University men's and women's lacrosse teams have already set several milestones this season:
• The first time both won regular-season conference championships during the same season, the eighth for the Dolphins women and the first for the men.
• The highest rankings in school history.
• Dominating the post-season conference awards, including coach of the year honors for men's coach John Galloway and women's coach Mindy McCord, five major individual awards and 13 first-team all-conference selections.
• A combined .800 regular-season winning percentage, the best in school history by a whopping 115 percentage points.
Saturday brings an opportunity for even more history. The two programs will play in their respective conference championship games and will earn automatic NCAA tournament berths if they win.
The JU women stormed out to an 11-3 halftime lead and dispatched Coastal Carolina 20-7 on Friday at Rock Stadium in the ASUN semifinals. Sarah Elms scored five goals, Jenny Kinsey five and Lauren Craft four.
Liberty beat Kennesaw 21-6 in the other semifinal, led by five goals from Brooke Bryan and four each by Jordan Baerga and Cami Merkel.
The 20th-ranked Dolphins (12-4) will play the Flames (11-7) at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the ASUN Championship. The two teams will meet in the title game for the third consecutive time, two weeks after JU won in Lynchburg, Va., 20-7, to improve its lifetime record over Liberty to 8-0.
At Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C., the ninth-ranked Dolphins men (14-2) topped VMI 13-5 in the Southern Conference semifinals and will play Richmond (10-4) at noon Saturday. The Spiders defeated High Point 12-11 in the other semifinal on Lance Madonna's goal with 1:07 left.
Jackson Intrieri, the SoCon freshman of the year, and Jacob Greiner had four goals each and Max Waldbaum had two to lead the Dolphins. JU forged a 9-3 halftime lead in a defensive-minded game, and ran its record against the Keydets to 12-1.
Richmond was led by Luke Frankeny with five goals. The Spiders had never lost to JU in eight meetings until falling 13-11 on April 9 at Rock Stadium.
Southern Conference men's lacrosse
Jacksonville (14-2) vs. Richmond (10-4), Vert Stadium, High Point, N.C., noon.
ASUN women's lacrosse
Jacksonville (12-4) vs. Liberty (11-7), Rock Stadium, JU, 1 p.m.