JMU roundup: Five Dukes earn All-CAA women’s soccer honors

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

RICHMOND – Five James Madison University women’s soccer players were recognized for their outstanding seasons by being named to All-Colonial Athletic Association teams, the league office announced Wednesday evening.

Sophomore forward Ashley Herndon and redshirt-senior defender Sam Lofton highlighted the honorees by being named to the All-CAA First Team. Lofton was also named to the CAA All-Academic Team. Senior forward Katie Hyland and senior defender Shannon Rano were both named Third Team All-CAA members, while redshirt-freshman Allison Bortell was named to the All-Rookie Team.

In just her second season at JMU, Herndon led the Dukes with 16 points on four goals and eight assists for 16 points. Her eight assists led the CAA during the regular season and the 16 points were good for fifth in the league. The sophomore scored two game-winning goals in 2014, the first of which came in the season opener against Xavier, and the second on the road at Hofstra on Oct. 3. After tallying four points on opening weekend, Herndon won CAA Player of the Week on Aug. 25. Herndon was named Second Team All-CAA as a freshman in 2013.

Moving up and down the field on offense and defense for the Dukes throughout 2014, Lofton scored three goals – all game winners – and tallied seven assists for 13 points, which was second on the team behind Herndon. Lofton doubled her career goal total with the three goals this season, scoring in the opening minutes against VCU on Sept. 7 before putting a blast in on a free kick from just outside the penalty area against Appalachian State on Sept. 19 and converting a penalty kick in the season finale against Elon to secure JMU’s No. 2 seed in the CAA Tournament. Lofton’s seven assists this season ranks second in the league, one behind Herndon.

After getting off to a hot start by scoring in two of JMU’s first three games, Hyland continued to be a force up front for the Dukes on the way to scoring three goals in 2014 to move her career total to 19. She also tallied four assists on the wing for JMU, totaling nine points this season. After scoring in the first game of the season against Xavier, Hyland put home the game-winner on the road at then-No. 24 Wake Forest on a goal early in the second half the Dukes’ defense made stand up. Hyland also scored in JMU’s CAA-opener against Towson, a 4-2 triumph. With the 19 career goals, Hyland sits tied for 14th in program history with Teri Joyce. After amassing 48 points through her four years at JMU, Hyland ranks 19th all-time on the program’s career points list, which is five behind Samantha Andresch for 18th.

Following up the 2013 season when she was named Second Team All-CAA, Rano was named Third Team All-CAA in 2014 for her stellar defense on the back line for the Dukes. In her final season with JMU, Rano has been the team’s most consistent defender in the middle of the back line, helping Madison to a 1.16 goals allowed average, which is the third-best average in the CAA.

Playing in her first season at JMU, Bortell was named to the All-Rookie team out of the midfield. In a holding midfield role, Bortell helped calm opponents attack all year, which again helped JMU to third in the CAA with a 1.16 GAA clip.

Hofstra’s Leah Galton was named CAA Player of the Year for the second year in a row while the Northeastern trio of Bianca Calderone, Hannah Lopiccolo and Tracey Leone took Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively.

The Dukes start their postseason Nov. 7 in Boston when they take on third-seeded Hofstra in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament at 3 p.m.