The Elon University women’s lacrosse team was hit with a momentum-killing 17-4 loss to Jacksonville University today, April 27.

Despite a strong defensive effort, the Phoenix wasn’t able to handle the experienced pressure of the Dolphins attack. After this loss, Elon ends regular season play as the No. 2 seed headed into the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament with an 8-8 record overall and 4-1 in the conference.Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 3.39.52 PM

The Dolphins took the advantage over Elon in shots 38-14 and draw controls 14-9. Sydney Hesselbein led the attack with two goals, while Olivia Fernandez and Molly Garrigan each added to the scoring effort with one goal apiece.

On the defensive side, Elon picked up 17 ground balls, but only went 6-for-14 on clear attempts. Ramirez posted 10 saves between the pipes and led the team picking up four ground balls and causing three turnovers.

Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 3.37.03 PMThe Phoenix won the initial draw, but a few turnovers gave the Dolphins most of the possession to start the start the game. Jacksonville netted the first goal of the game in the first three minutes of play, but the defensive pressure from Elon held off the attack for the next 15 minutes of play. But the Jacksonville attack finally broke again through at the 12:20 mark and netted seven straight goals to put them up 8-0 with just under six minutes left in the half. Hesselbein was the first Phoenix to put one past Jacksonville goalie Asia Moore at the 4:31 mark to make it 8-1. Jacksonville put two more goals away before the end of the half to make it 10-1 at the break. The Dolphins maintained possession and fired 24 shots in the first half.

After a quick goal by the Dolphins to start the second half, Hesselbein struck again with an unassisted goal to make it 11-2 at the 21:20 mark. After Jacksonville answered back with a goal, Olivia Fernandez finished one for the Phoenix on a free position shot to make it 12-3 with 17 minutes left to play. Three more Jacksonville goals extended the lead, until Garrigan posted the final unassisted goal for the Phoenix to make it 15-4 with just under two minutes to play. The Dolphins attack closed out the game with two more goals, the last in the final seconds of the game, to give them the 17-4 win over the Phoenix.

The team is still in pursuit of an NCAA berth as it enters the conference tournament this upcoming weekend. The No. 2 Phoenix will take on No. 3 University of Detroit Mercy in the semifinals of the 2014 Atlantic Sun Women’s Lacrosse Championship at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 2 in Jacksonville, Fla.