JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - No. 1 seed Jacksonville won its fifth ASUN Conference Women's Lacrosse Championship title on Saturday afternoon as they took down No. 2 Coastal Carolina 25-19. With the win the Dolphins receive an automatic birth into the NCAA Tournament.
The pace started out fast and never let up on Saturday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field. Jacksonville raced out to a 4-1 lead, scoring four goals in the first 4:04 of action. The Dolphins eventually saw their lead grow to 11-3, aided by a 7-1 run highlighted by goals from ASUN All-Tournament Team members, Ashtyn Hiron, Sarah Elms and Alyssa Arnold. The Chanticleers did respond with a 4-1 run of their own, but a late first half goal gave Jacksonville a 13-7 lead into the locker room.
The Chanticleers got the second half rolling with a goal from All-Freshman member Megan Busch, but the Dolphins responded with three-straight goals to make it 15-8. Coastal wouldn't back down though, as they went on a 5-1 run to get back within four at 18-14. The Dolphins yet again would have an answer, ripping off four-straight goals in less than four minutes, two by Elms and one a piece from Arnold and ASUN All-Tournament Team member MacEllen McDonough. CCU would mount a furious last ditch rally, as they converted on five straight goals in a four minute span to cut the JU lead to three at 22-19. Jacksonville put the game away, ending the contest on a 3-0 run, which was capped off by Elms seventh goal of the afternoon.
It was record setting performance by both teams. The 44 combined goals sets a single-game ASUN Championship record. The previous high was 32, which was set last season in an ASUN Championship First Round game between Mercer and Old Dominion. Elms' seven goals is second most all-time in an ASUN Championship game, while her nine points is tied for most. The Dolphins also set the mark for most shots in an ASUN Championship game with 49, breaking the mark of 47 they previously tied in their semifinal game against Old Dominion on Thursday.
Hiron finished with eight points on four goals and four assists, finishing the tournament with 14 points overall and earning ASUN Championship MVP Honors. It was also her sixth eight-point outing of the season. Arnold also racked up eight points in the final on six goals and two assists. Those six goals set a new season-high for Arnold. Her previous high was two.
Jacksonville awaits to see its fate in the NCAA Tournament, with the selection show airing on NCAA.com on Sunday at 9:30pm ET. The NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament First Round is slated to start on Friday, May 11th.
ASUN All-Tournament Team
Ashtyn Hiron - Jacksonville - MVP
Alyssa Arnold - Jacksonville
Erica Beal - Jacksonville
Sarah Elms - Jacksonville
MacEllen McDonough - Jacksonville
Julia Imbo - Coastal Carolina
Sophie Crowther - Coastal Carolina
Haley Kyger - Coastal Carolina
Siena Gore - Kennesaw State
Connor Zophy - Kennesaw State
Lauren Ey - Old Dominion
Sophia Richie - Old Dominion
ASUN Championship Final Notes
- Jacksonville wins its fifth ASUN Championship and second consecutive
- Ashtyn Hiron adds to her decorated career by winning the ASUN Championship MVP. She has now won 2016 ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, 2018 ASUN Player of the year and 2018 ASUN Championship MVP
- Sarah Elms ties a single-game ASUN Championship record with nine points on seven goals and two assists. Her seven goals also is tied for second most all-time
- ASUN All-Tournment team member, Sophie Crowther, finished her Coastal career with 141 points, second most in program history
- The Dolphins earn their fifth bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 2018 Selection Show will be on Sunday night at 9:30 PM ET and can be streamed on NCAA.com