JMU roundup: Balanced Dukes top High Point in women’s lacrosse

HARRISONBURG — Behind a balanced offensive attack that saw six players on the 19th-ranked James Madison women’s lacrosse team notch multiple goals, the Dukes topped High Point 16-8 at the University Park turf field on Monday afternoon to earn their third straight win.

JMU is now 3-1 on the season, while High Point fell to 1-3. The game was moved to the turf field due to the winter storm that impacted the Harrisonburg area on Saturday. Madison moved up from No. 20 to No. 19 in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Coaches Poll during the contest. The Dukes are still receiving votes in the Brine Media Poll as of Monday’s latest edition.

Trailing 3-2 with 23:23 to play in the first half after High Point jumped on the Dukes out of the gate, senior midfielder Alison Curwin started a 7-0 run that carried over to the second half to put JMU up 9-3 with 27:37 to go in the game.

During the run, redshirt-sophomore attacker Betsy Angel and freshman midfielder Haley Warden tallied two goals apiece while junior midfielder Brooks Lawler had one goal and one assist.

Trying to climb back down by six, High Point went on a 3-0 run in a matter of 1:01 of game action to pull within three goals at 9-6 with 24:17 to go, but sophomore midfielder Leah Monticello stopped the bleeding with 20:28 left in the contest with her sixth goal of the season.

With 18:16 to go, Emily Meier again pulled High Point back to within three at 10-7, but senior attacker Stephanie Finley started a 6-1 close over the remainder of the contest to give the home team the 16-8 victory.

Angel led the way for JMU with three goals and an assist. Both Monticello and Curwin finished with two goals and two assists while Finley, Warden and Lawler each found the net twice. FreshmenMorgan Hardt and Kristen Gaudian each tallied their first collegiate goals down the stretch in the win. Senior goalie Schylar Healy made nine saves while collecting a team-high four ground balls. Finley, sophomore Taylor Gress and senior Lexi Cross each picked up three ground balls while Finley came away with a game-high five draw controls.

Meier and Abby Berrettone were the only two players to score multiple goals for the Panthers and Allie Foard scored a team-high three points on one goal and two assists. Goalie Julia Burns made 14 saves, which fell one short of her career-high 15 that was set last Friday against Virginia Tech, and picked up a game-high eight ground balls.

Overall, JMU outshot High Point 43-21 while forcing 12 Panther turnovers to the Dukes’ five.

JMU goes back on the road next time out on Saturday for a 5 p.m. matchup with No. 16/14 Loyola (Md.) in Baltimore.

Women’s basketball

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — James Madison junior point guard Angela Mickens is among the top 15 finalists for the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday.

The honor recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. The initial watch list included the top 31 point guards of 2014-15 and was narrowed down by a national committee.

Mickens ranks fourth nationally with 7.5 assists per game and 11th nationally with a 2.68 assist-to-turnover ratio. She has dished out 196 assists this season, the second-highest total for a single season in JMU history, and 388 assists in her career, ninth on the all-time JMU career assists chart. This season, she has dished out 10 or more assists in a single game five times, just the third JMU player to achieve such a feat.

Last week, Mickens earned her first Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week accolade after averaging 11.0 points, 9.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per contest. This season, she is averaging 8.0 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.