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RICHMOND -- James Madison lacrosse was predicted to finish second in the Colonial Athletic Association according to a preseason vote by the league's coaches released Tuesday.
The Dukes tallied 21 points in the poll with one first-place vote, just three points behind the predicted 2014 CAA champion Towson (24 points, four first-place votes). The Tigers tied the Dukes for the regular-season title in 2013 and won the conference tournament last season.
Hofstra was picked third after receiving 17 points and one first-place vote with Delaware following in fourth place with 14 points. Drexel, which tallied eight points, and William & Mary, picking up six points, rounded out the order of finish in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
JMU went 6-1 in league action last year and 11-6 overall. After a second-place berth in the CAA tournament, the Dukes fell 6-4 to Hofstra in the semifinals.
In 2013, James Madison led the league in points per game (14.82) and shot percentage (49.3%). The Dukes also led the CAA in save percentage (49.5%) thanks in large part to the play of All-CAA First Team goalkeeper Schylar Healy. Healy led the league in save percentage (48.6%), snagging 138 of 146 goal attempts, as well as saves per game (9.2).
Healy joins seven starters returning for the 2014 season, including All-CAA First Team honoree Amy Roguski, a senior attacker, and All-CAA Second Team honorees Ali Curwin, a junior midfielder, and Lexi Cross, a junior defender. Senior defender Leah Perrotta, redshirt-junior midfielder Kaci Starkloff and junior attacker Stephanie Finley also return to the starting lineup for the Dukes.
JMU opens the 2014 season on Saturday, Feb. 15 when it hosts Virginia Tech at University Park in a 1 p.m. match-up.
2014 CAA Preseason Predicted Order of Finish (first-place votes)
1. Towson, 24 pts. (4)
2. JMU, 21 pts. (1)
3. Hofstra, 17 pts. (1)
4. Delaware, 14 pts.
5. Drexel, 8 pts.
6. William & Mary, 6 pts.