JMU roundup: Allaband headlines Dukes’ field hockey honorees

RICHMOND — James Madison University senior Dana Allaband earned Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year honors to highlight the league awards handed out to the Dukes’ field hockey team on Thursday.

Allaband and junior back/midfielder Loes Stijntjes earned All-CAA First Team accolades, while redshirt-junior midfielder Taylor West earned All-CAA Second Team honors.

The Dukes fielded a league-high three honorees on the CAA All-Rookie squad. JMU was represented by freshmen forward/midfielder Hannah Hall, forward Melanie Kusakavitch and back/midfielder Erica Smedberg. Senior forward/midfielder Bethany Ashworth was named to the CAA All-Academic team.

Allaband moved into a tie for seventh on the JMU all-time assists chart this year, assisting on 28 goals in her career. Through the regular season, she has tallied seven assists alongside two goals for 11 points. Having played the full 18-game slate, she has one defensive save and anchors a JMU defense that allows just 2.06 goals per game. She is the second consecutive Duke to earn the honor, following 2013 CAA Defensive Player of the Year Amy Goldstein (JMU ’14).

Stijntjes leads the Dukes in goals (14) and points (32) this season and is tied for the league lead in game-winning goals (4). In 2013, she earned All-CAA Second Team accolades and, in 2012, she was named to the CAA All-Rookie squad.

West is second on the team in goals (10), assists (7) and points (27). Her 10 goals in 2014 have pushed her into a tie for 10th all-time in JMU career goals (37). She is also tied for 13th all-time at JMU in career points, having posted 90 points during her time with the purple and gold.

JMU (11-7, 3-3 CAA) is the No. 4 seed in the 2014 CAA Championship Tournament and faces top-seeded No. 18 Northeastern (14-4, 5-1 CAA) in the semifinals. The Dukes faced the Huskies on Oct. 31 in a 1-0 loss at Northeastern. This season, 14 of JMU’s 18 games have been decided by one goal (8-6).

The Dukes take on the Huskies at Dedham Field in Dedham, Massachusetts, at 2 p.m. on Friday.