GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Denver sophomore Jill Remenapp (Woodbine, Md.) scored two goals and distributed four assists, leading the No. 13 Pioneers to a 14-7 victory over Jacksonville in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at the University of Florida on Friday afternoon.
“We played our game. I think we were excited to get on this big stage and show them what Denver Lacrosse is all about, and the girls came out and did just that,” head coach Liza Kelly said. “They prepared well for Jacksonville and I think they were a good team we matched up. We knew it was going to be a hard game because they’re very well coached and a very talented team but I think we came out ready for them.”
Remenapp added three ground balls and a caused turnover for the Pioneers (18-2), who won the first NCAA Tournament game in program history. Junior Jenn Etzel (Bel Air, Md.) had three goals and two assists. Both redshirt senior Kara Secora (Denver, Colo.) and freshman Rachael McKinnon (Brooklin, Ontario) had hat tricks and an assist. Senior Mikayla Clark (Eden Prairie, Minn.) had a goal, an assist, four caused turnovers and three ground balls, and junior Meredith Harris (Middleburg, Va.) scored two goals.
Denver dominated in draw controls 21-5 with sophomore Kiki Boone (Cherry Hills Village, Colo.) grabbing seven and senior Kate Henrich (Lansdale, Pa.) recording six.
“I think two of the things we were focused on with Jacksonville were draw controls and their ride,” Kelly said. “I think those were things we focused on all week. We have been tested from some other teams with that but I think we stepped up and showed them we were pretty good at that too.”
The Pioneers jumped out to a 3-0 lead off goals from Harris, Etzel and Clark in the first 4:46 of the contest.
Taylor McCord got Jacksonville on the board at the 21:48 mark in the first half, but Denver ripped off the next four goals, the last two by Secora. The Dolphins caused a turnover, ran the length of the field and scored with 10 seconds left, but DU took a 7-2 lead to halftime.
The Pioneers registered a dominating 9-2 advantage in draw controls in the first half and out-shot Jacksonville 13-4.
McKinnon scored an unassisted goal less than four minutes into the second half, and followed it up with an assist to Secora and another unassisted goal with 18:05 remaining to give Denver a 10-4 lead.
With 17:13 left in the game, Etzel intercepted a short outlet pass from the Jacksonville goalie, flipped a quick pass to Remenapp for a DU goal. Remenapp returned the favor, assisting Etzel three minutes later, and Remenapp scored again after causing a turnover by the Jacksonville goalie with 11:50 remaining.
The Dolphins scored a pair of goals in an 11-second span to cut DU’s lead to 13-6 with 5:50 on the clock and added a free position goal with 1:22 left in the game.
The Pioneers will next play in the NCAA Tournament Second Round against No. 5 seed Florida in Gainesville, Fla., on Sunday at 11 a.m. MT.
-EXPERIENCE DENVER ATHLETICS-
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