JMU roundup: Dukes picked third in field hockey poll

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

RICHMOND — The James Madison field hockey squad was chosen to finish third in the Colonial Athletic Association by league coaches, it was announced Wednesday afternoon.

The Dukes finished the 2012 regular season in third place with a 4-3 conference record to advance to the CAA championship tournament. They fell in the semifinals to Northeastern, 3-2, to close out the season with an 11-8 overall record.

JMU returns several All-CAA Second Team players to the 2013 team, including sophomore goalkeeper Lena Wimmert and sophomore back Loes Stijntjes, who was also named to the league’s all-rookie team in 2012. Redshirt sophomore forward Taylor West, the team’s second-leading scorer in 2012, also returns to the JMU roster.

Wimmert saw action in all 19 games for the Dukes last season, allowing just 25 goals and posting 107 saves for a 1.27 goals-against average and a .811 save percentage. West posted seven goals, including a team-high five game-winning goals, and three assists during 2012. Stijntjes notched two goals, one game-winner, and two assists with one defensive save during her freshman campaign.

Drexel was tabbed to take first place in the CAA as the Dragons earned five first-place votes and 34 points from league coaches. They finished first during both the regular season and championship tournament in 2012. Northeastern took the second-place slot in the preseason poll with two first-place votes and 31 total points. Both teams advanced to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship last season.

Behind JMU in fourth place was Delaware, who garnered 21 points, while William & Mary came in fifth with 18 points. Hofstra collected 11 points to hold sixth place, and Towson rounded out the poll with six points in seventh place.