JMU roundup: Dukes picked second in CAA women’s soccer poll

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG – The James Madison University women’s soccer was picked to finish second in the Colonial Athletic Association according to the preseason coaches poll, the league announced Tuesday.

JMU led all teams with four first-place votes and tallied 71 total points in the preseason poll.

Hofstra was picked to win the league, receiving three first-place votes and 74 total points. William and Mary picked up two first-place votes and 70 total points to finish third in the poll, and reigning CAA tournament champion Northeastern finished fourth in the poll with one first-place vote and 57 overall points.

Under 2013 CAA Coach of the Year Dave Lombardo’s direction, the Dukes (15-5-1) won last year’s CAA regular-season title outright for the first time in program history and advanced to the championship game of the 2013 CAA tournament.

JMU returns seven starters, including the team’s top scorers in senior forward Katie Hyland and sophomore forward Ashley Herndon. Hyland posted nine goals, four game-winners, and three assists on the season while Herndon scored six goals, with four game winners, and a team-high seven assists to earn CAA Rookie of the Year honors and Third Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region accolades.

Senior defender Shannon Rano, an All-CAA Second Team honoree, returns to the lineup alongside All-Rookie Team honoree Sydney Braun-McLeod, a sophomore forward. Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Ellen Forrest also returns after posting a 1.13 goals-against average and six shutouts during her sophomore campaign.

The Dukes open the 2014 season with the Fairfield Inn by Marriott JMU Invitational August 22 and 24 at University Park. Madison takes on Xavier in the Friday night game at 7 p.m. before facing Massachusetts at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

Women’s tennis

HARRISONBURG – James Madison women’s tennis head coach James Bryce announced the addition Erin Bryce as an assistant coach on Tuesday.

Bryce most recently served as the volunteer assistant coach at Mississippi State for the 2013-14 season. Prior to her time with the Bulldogs, she spent four seasons (2009-13) as the volunteer assistant coach for Saint Leo University and helped propel the Lions from an unranked program to a top-10 national ranking. She also taught tennis at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, N.Y. during the summer while she was a coach at Saint Leo.

Her first coaching position came in 2008 at the University of West Alabama, where she was the assistant coach for both cross country and tennis until 2009.

Erin Bryce played No. 1 singles and doubles tennis and ran cross country at the University of Tampa. The tennis program was ranked in the top 25 nationally during her time with the Spartans while the cross country program ranked in the top 10 nationally.

A two-time Academic All-American, she earned a bachelor’s degree in government and world affairs from Tampa in 2007. She also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching for social science, grades 6-12, from West Alabama.