DAVIDSON, N.C. — Jacksonville got hat tricks from four different players including four goals from Morgan Derner en route to a 19-6 win over the High Point University women’s lacrosse team in the National Lacrosse Conference championship game on Sunday afternoon at Richardson Stadium in Davidson, N.C. Junior goalie Anna Wallingford made 10 saves for HPU.
“I’m proud of our team for being the No. 1 seed coming into the tournament, our goal was to be the best team in the league this year,” said HPU head coach Lyndsey Boswell. “Jacksonville deserved to win today. I give credit to their coaches and players, they were prepared and executed today. I’m proud of my girls for playing hard the whole way, I just wish we could have sent our seniors off with a win.”
High Point won its first NLC regular season title with a 7-0 league record and finished 15-4 for the second season in a row. After two seasons of women’s lacrosse at High Point University, the Panthers have a 30-8 program record. Jacksonville also finished the season with a 15-4 record.
Jacksonville goalie Karli Tobin made 11 saves and was named tournament MVP. JU’s other three All-Tournament members were midfielders Morgan Basler and Rachel Hannon and attacker Brittney Orashen. Derner led all players with four goals and an assist off the bench while Basler had three goals and an assist. Orashen had a goal, three assists and four ground balls and Hannon led all players with eight draw controls.
High Point’s Jasmine Jordan, defender Patricia Bigelow and midfielder Alec Perry were named to the All-Tournament team. Jordan had three caused turnovers and three ground balls, Bigelow had three ground balls and a caused turnover and Perry scored a goal and had two draw controls.
HPU midfielder Heather Ziccarelli scored twice and had four draw controls. Senior Alexis Goldman also scored twice. Sophomore midfielder Christie Dougherty had four draw controls, two ground balls and a caused turnover.
High Point sophomore Sara Kuhlman scored the first goal of the game just 34 seconds into play after Dougherty won the opening draw. The Dolphins were able to get momentum in their direction, however, forcing a turnover that led to a Holly Ventimiglia goal with 22:08 left in the first and scoring five more times in the next 11 minutes.
Ziccarelli scored on a pass from Mackenzie Carroll behind the net with 10:14 remaining to make it 6-3, but Jacksonville’s Derner scored twice in a row to make it a five-goal gap. High Point’s Goldman moved through the right side of the defense to score the last goal of the first half, making it 8-4 with 33 seconds left. Jacksonville outshot HPU, 20-11, in the period.
Jacksonville was able to score the first three goals of the second half, including two more from Derner, to take an 11-5 lead with 20:55 remaining. The Panthers scored two of the next three to get within 12-6, but the Dolphins put it away by scoring the last seven goals in eight minutes, including three in the last two minutes.
Turnovers in the defensive zone doomed the Panthers as HPU went just 12-for-17 on clear attempts. Wallingford’s 10 saves marked the fifth time this season she hit double-digits.