JMU roundup: Dukes fall in women’s soccer

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The James Madison women’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to La Salle Sunday afternoon at McCarthy Stadium, falling to 4-3 on the 2014 season.

The Explorers (3-2-2) broke a scoreless battle just 17 seconds into the second half on Kelsey Haycook’s fourth goal of the season. The senior forward picked up a loose ball that was bouncing around in the box and chipped her shot to the right past redshirt-junior goalkeeper Ellen Forrest.

La Salle doubled its lead in the 58th minute when Danielle Marx finished off the third chance on a flurry of shots in front of the JMU goal. Off a corner kick, Haycook took a header that was saved by Forrest. The rebound bounced out to Jessika Kagan and her shot hit the post, but that rebound bounced to Marx who put her shot home for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Trying to push the envelope in the final minutes of the match, sophomore forward Ashley Herndon scored her second goal of the season. The goal in the 87th minute came off a corner kick as Herndon finished the chance served in by redshirt-senior forward Sam Lofton just inside the left post.

In the 89th minute looking for the equalizer, sophomore forward Sydney Braun-McLeod sent a shot in on La Salle goalkeeper Jessica Wiggins but the senior made the stop to preserve the victory for the Explorers.

JMU (4-3) outshot La Salle in the first half, but the Explorers ultimately came out in the second half and fired 11 shots to outshoot the Dukes 17-16 in the match. JMU held a slight advantage in shots on goal, putting 10 of its shots on target to La Salle’s nine.

In the match, Forrest made a season-high seven saves while Wiggins stopped nine, one save off her season-high mark of 10. Herndon took eight of JMU’s 16 shots in the game, putting four of them on target. Herndon’s two goals this season ties her with Braun-McLeod and senior forward Katie Hyland for the team-high.

The Dukes return home Friday afternoon, Sept. 19, for a 5 p.m. match against Appalachian State at University Park. The game will be the first leg of a JMU soccer doubleheader as the men’s team will take on Robert Morris 30 minutes after the conclusion of the JMU/Appalachian State match.

Men’s tennis

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The James Madison men’s tennis team wrapped up the first tournament of the 2014 fall campaign on Sunday morning with three wins in the final round of singles matches at the ECU Tennis Complex.

Sophomore Brett Moorhead rolled to a two-set victory (6-2, 6-2) over Nazhone Wilkins in his final singles match in the Purple Pod. In the same pod, sophomore Sebastian Salinas battled back from being one set down to Fredric Lehfeldt (ECU) after a 6-2 loss in set one to win two straight (6-1, 10-6) and take the victory.

In Gold Pod singles, junior Maxi Branth earned a three-set win over Coastal Carolina’s Jabor Al Mu-Tawa. After falling 6-2 in set one, he battled for a 7-5 win in set two and a 10-8 win in set three to secure the win.

Freshman Stephen Goldman fell 7-6(3), 7-5 in a tough match with UNCG’s Nazhone Wilkins in Pirate Pod action. Also in the Pirate Pod was fellow freshman Tim Portnov who fell 6-0, 6-1 to Coastal Carolina’s Renan Samed.

Sophomores Mason Smith and Alex Berdnikoff each fell in two sets in their singles matches in the Skull & Bones Pod. Smith dropped a two-set match (6-1, 6-3) to Richmond’s James Aronson, Berdnikoff fell in two sets (6-3, 6-1) to UNCG’s Logan Walker.

JMU returns to the courts on Sept. 26 for the three-day Elon Fall Invitational tournament in Elon, N.C.

Field hockey

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – No. 20 James Madison field hockey suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday morning in heartbreaking fashion as the Dukes fell to No. 13 Northwestern 2-1 in overtime in a neutral-site game at Wake Forest’s Kentner Stadium. The Dukes dropped to 4-1 on the year while the Wildcats improved to 4-3 overall.

Just 56 seconds into the first overtime period, Northwestern’s Caroline Troncelliti struck for the game-winning goal from just in front of the net after picking up a right side pass from Isabel Flens. The duo scored the first Northwestern goal of the day as well, with Troncelliti making a shot from six yards out off a pass from Flens to put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the 62nd minute of play.

Junior back Loes Stijntjes tied the game at 1-1 with 1:19 to play in regulation after dribbling to the top left of the circle and firing into the right side of the net.

Senior goalkeeper Hannah George was tabbed with the loss (4-1) after allowing two goals but making eight saves, including five denials in the second half. Northwestern’s Maddy Carpenter tallied the win after allowing one goal and making two saves in the game.

The Wildcats outshot the Dukes 15-6, including a 9-3 edge in the second half of regulation, and a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal. JMU and Northwestern each earned six corners through the first 70 minutes of play.

No. 20 JMU returns to the JMU Field Hockey Complex on Friday, Sept. 19 as the Dukes take on Missouri State at 7 p.m.


Cross country

NEW MARKET – The James Madison cross country team produced a pair of top-10 finishes to place second at the 2014 JMU Invitational on a rainy Saturday morning at New Market Battlefield.

Junior Kathleen Stewart led the charge for JMU with a seventh-place finish in the 58-person field after she completed the 5,200-meter course with a time of 18:36.40. That mark was 40 seconds faster than her previous personal record in the 5K (19:16.40) and was the 10th-fastest time in the event’s history.

Making a move over the final 1.5K was senior Tiel Westbrook, who moved up nearly 15 spots to round out the top 10 with her time of 19:00.10, improving her personal-best mark by nearly half a minute.

The third Duke to cross the finish line was sophomore Tessa Mundell, who took 13th in 19:05.80. Freshman Erica Gray placed 24th in her first collegiate race as she clocked a time of 20:06.40 and rounding out the team score was senior Rachel Hagen, who completed the trek in 20:10.20, good for 26th place.

JMU finished second as a team behind the team champion Georgetown, which is ranked fifth in the country. The Hoyas tallied 17 points after claiming five of the top six spots. Madison had three runners place in the top 15 to score 57 points as it edged third-place George Mason, which finished with 64 points. Following Mason in the team standings were VMI, Longwood and Concord (W.Va.).

The record books were virtually reset at the conclusion of the race as the top-seven finishers now rank in the top 10 all-time at New Market Battlefield. Georgetown’s Katrina Coogan won the race in 17:46.00, smashing the previous course record of 18:09.5, set back in 2009 by Duke’s Emily Schwitzer.

Also on the course for the Dukes Saturday were sophomore Carol Strock, freshman Nicole Goff, sophomore Ally Bodmer, freshman Nora Raher, senior Morgan Sheaffer and rookie Leslie Weidner. Each of the non-team scorers for JMU placed between 27th to 43rd in the race.

The Dukes return to action next Friday, Sept. 19 when they travel to Farmville, to compete in the Longwood Invitational.