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Nathan Kapp

2023 NCAA Lacrosse Rankings: No. 18 Jacksonville (Men)

January 11, 2023
Matt DaSilva
Jacksonville Athletics
The 2023 college lacrosse season is almost here. As is our annual tradition, we’re featuring every team ranked in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Preseason Top 20.
Check back to each weekday this month for new previews, scouting reports and rival analysis.


2022 Record: 14-3 (5-0 SoCon)
Final Ranking (2022): No. 13
Coach: John Galloway


Jacob Greiner, A, R-Jr.

The Dolphins resident sniper victimized slide-happy defenses with a school single-season record 51 goals last year. His breakout season included consecutive six-goal games at Denver and Air Force, both wins. Greiner was the top scorer in the country at one point in the season.

Troy Hettinger, SSDM, Gr.

“I’m banging the table in terms of my marketing for Troy Hettinger,” Galloway said. “He is everything you look for in an ACC athlete. He plays every position—man-up, man-down, short-stick d-mid. He’ll play some [close] defense for us this year. A jack of all trades. He’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Joel White in my career coaching. I already told the PLL guys he is undoubtedly a professional lacrosse player.”

Max Waldbaum, A, Gr.

The Denver native and former Tufts standout just wanted a chance to show what he could do at the Division I level. Boy did he deliver. A load to bear at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Waldbaum set Jacksonville’s single-season scoring record with 72 points (48 goals, 24 assists) and earned All-American honors from USA Lacrosse Magazine, Inside Lacrosse and the USILA.


Cole Daninger, SSDM, Gr. (Rutgers)

Jacksonville is replete with reliable defensive midfielders, including a pair of NLL draft picks in Zack Deaken (eighth overall) and Hettinger. The Dolphins only got stronger at the position with the addition of Daninger, a three-time All-Big Ten selection at Rutgers. Include Tucker Garrity in the mix and you see why Galloway is toying with the idea of moving Hettinger down low and putting a pole in his hands.

Brandon Galloway, M, Sr. (UMBC)

“He’s probably the best-kept secret,” Galloway says of his (unrelated) namesake. “People ask about Dylan [Watson] being an impact transfer, but Brandon has had the biggest impact so far.” Galloway the player started his career as a rather good faceoff specialist before becoming an offensive midfielder at UMBC, earning second-team All-America East honors with a team-high 24 goals as a junior in 2021.

Dylan Watson, A, Gr. (Georgetown)

Jacksonville was the surprise winner of the Watson sweepstakes, swooping in shortly after he entered the transfer portal. Credit Deaken with the assist. According to Galloway, he played a prominent role in bringing the Big East Player of the Year to Duval. “We leaned heavily on that relationship,” Galloway said of the two former Orangeville (Ontario) Northmen and Hill Academy teammates. “Dylan saw this as a place where he could come and continue to write his story.” A consensus All-American, Watson scored 58 goals in 17 games (3.41 goals per game) as a senior at Georgetown.


Graduations: Colin Hinton, D; Jack Dolan, M; Dixon Smith, D; Jeremy Winston, M


Is it really “us versus everybody?”

Galloway is a master motivator. Anyone who ever shared huddle with him at Syracuse, with the U.S. national team or with the Rattlers or Chrome will attest to that. This year’s mantra is “us versus everybody,” a clever way to internalize motivation and block out distractions like Jacksonville’s move from the SoCon (may she rest in peace) to the ASUN and those who would write off last season’s breakthrough as a fluke.

The Dolphins did fall short of making the NCAA tournament, after all.

Still, Jacksonville has to be considered the ASUN favorite. Robert Morris might be the defending league champion and Utah notably spoiled Jacksonville’s big national TV spotlight last spring, but neither boasts the kind of depth and firepower the Dolphins possess. They’re less imposing obstacles than High Point and Richmond, both of whom gave Jacksonville fits.

“The way that we framed it is while there were a lot of amazing moments, ultimately the last moment was of shared disappointment,” Galloway said of the 2022 season in which the Dolphins beat Duke and Denver and ascended to a national top-10 ranking but lost to Richmond 10-9 in the SoCon final. “Understanding our goals need to be clearly aligned with our actions.”

This attack … sheesh.

Greiner, Waldbaum and Jackson Intrieri all put up more than 60 points apiece, with Intrieri compiling a 30-30 campaign as a freshman quarterbacking the offense. Add Watson and, well, don’t be surprised to see four attackmen on the field at any given time.

“The best part about Dylan is that while he’s uber-talented, he’s the most humble kid on the team,” Galloway said.

Jacksonville has talent at midfield too, with Galloway, Ethan Lamond (16 goals in 11 games) and

freshman Jack Taylor on the first line and all the Dolphins’ two-way threats. But given the graduation losses Jacksonville sustained at midfield and close defense, look for this loaded attack to carry the mail.

The bullpen buddies are back.

Galloway would have hated playing for himself.

Even after a season in which North Carolina transfer Luke Millican finished ranked fifth nationally with a 58.2-percent save percentage and went the distance against Johns Hopkins, Duke and Denver, Galloway would not commit to Millican being the set-it-and-forget-it goalie for Jacksonville.

That’s because Jason LoQuinto, who appeared in 12 games and got all the man-down reps, is back for a sixth year. Galloway said he had his best fall since coming to Jacksonville from Albany.

“I’m reframing it not to look at it as starter, but more a bullpen,” Galloway said, citing the success Maryland had platooning Jason Carter and Brian Phipps in 2009 and how Jamie Faus and Ryan LaPlante split duties for Denver in 2014. “I think we have two of the best goalies in the country. Jason is the better ball stopper. Luke is a better conductor.”

A four-year starter and two-time NCAA champion as a goalie at Syracuse, Galloway was asked how he would have responded to sharing the position in college.

“I would hate that — and that’s exactly how I present it,” Galloway said. “That’s how much I believe in both of them. I’m going against all my prior knowledge. There’s just no way one of them can’t be playing.”


“Jacksonville is always going to be a big question mark. It’s kind of Transfer U. The great thing about them is he takes these guys and he does a great job with them. They buy into his system. He’s a great guy. He’s a young coach. Jacksonville is always going to be the big question mark but one that everyone fears, that’s for sure.”



Perhaps no team had the widest gulf between their best performances and their worst performances last year. From an offensive perspective, in their 14 wins, the Dolphins’ offense scored goals on 38% of their offensive possessions; in their 3 losses, it was just 24%. The gap is not as wide on defense, though. In 14 wins, their defense allowed a goal on just 20% of opposing possessions. In three losses, it was 31%.

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