JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A stifling defensive effort from the visiting Bellarmine Knights dropped the Jacksonville University men's lacrosse team to 0-3 on the season after an 8-4 loss on Saturday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field. Three consecutive goals in the third quarter brought the Dolphins back within a goal after trailing by four at the break, but JU could never pull even and Bellarmine shut down the Jacksonville attack over the final 17 minutes to move to 2-0.
The first quarter was indicative of the challenges that Jacksonville would face on the day. Despite an 8-4 edge in shots in the quarter for the Dolphins, the 15 minutes raced by with neither team denting the scoring column.
The Knights finally got things going in the second quarter with the first goals of the season from Ben Charpentier and Ryan Scinta to take a 2-0 lead with 7:06 until halftime. After Jacksonville won the face-off on a violation, the Dolphins quickly went to work and got on the board asDuncan Clancy spun off a defender and went low to beat goalkeeper Will Haas for the first goal of the day. JU could never pull even though, with Tucker Ciessau scoring twice and Austin Shanks finding the back of the net once before the horn to give the Knights a 5-1 lead.
A reinvigorated Jacksonville team came out in the third quarter, and Dakota Rohlin needed less than 90 seconds to equal JU's first half production. Four minutes later Ari Waffle got his first goal of the season, sneaking in to receive a quick feed from Tom Moore to make it a 5-3 contest. Both teams then locked down for more than seven minutes until Moore overpowered a defender and fired one home with 2:00 remaining in the quarter. The momentum was in Jacksonville's favor after reeling off three straight goals, but Bellarmine won the subsequent face-off and promptly scored in 10 seconds to regain a two-goal edge entering the fourth.
The critical swing happened with nine minutes remaining in the game. Jacksonville was in possession on the Bellarmine end until the Dolphins were whistled for a delay of game penalty. A man up for 30 seconds, the Knights were able to score on Ciessau's third goal of the afternoon to take a 7-4 lead. The freshman then added a fourth with just over six minutes to play for an 8-4 lead that put the Dolphins in too deep of a hole to dig out of.
Sam Rosengarden helped Jacksonville lay claim to 11 of 16 face-offs on the day. Pete DeLuca made 12 saves and caused a pair of turnovers. Austin Curtis led the team with three caused turnovers, as did Clancy with five ground balls.
Jacksonville will go for its first win of the season next week in its Atlantic Sun opener. The Dolphins travel to North Carolina to meet the High Point Panthers on March 1 at 12 p.m.