JMU roundup: Women’s lacrosse pair earn preseason All-America honors

HARRISONBURG — Inside Lacrosse released it’s annual “Face-Off Yearbook” this week, which features preseason polls and honors leading into the 2015 women’s lacrosse season and two student-athletes from the James Madison women’s lacrosse team – senior defender Lexi Cross and senior attackerStephanie Finley – earned preseason All-American honors. Cross earned a Third Team nod while Finley received an honorable mention.

Both players were named captains for the 2015 season by coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe after fall practice concluded last month. Senior midfielder Alison Curwin is the third captain for the 2015 season.

Last season, Cross played in all 18 of JMU’s games, starting 17 of them. She was named a First Team All-CAA performer on defense after the regular season and was named to the CAA All-Tournament Team following JMU’s 12-11 overtime loss to Towson in the finals. For her performance throughout the season, Cross earned IWLCA All-South Region Second Team honors and VaSID All-State University Division First Team honors while being named an ECAC Division I Women’s Lacrosse Second Team All-Star.

Finley’s honorable mention nod comes one year after she won CAA Co-Player of the Year, scoring a team-high 44 goals while tallying 15 assists for 59 points. On the way to the Co-Player of the Year award, she set the single-season record for draw controls with 69 in 2014. The First Team All-CAA performer also earned CAA All-Tournament honors while being named a second-team member of the IWLCA All-South Region team. Finley notched ECAC Division I Women’s Lacrosse All-Star Second Team honors while pulling in First Team All-State University Division recognition.

Over the summer, both Cross and Finley tried out for the U.S. National Team. Finley was selected as a member of the 38-player roster along with assistant coach Emily Garrity and 2007 grad Kelly (Berger) Rabil.

The Dukes open the 2015 season on Feb. 1 in Chapel Hill when they take on North Carolina.