JMU roundup: Dukes fall to Cavaliers in women’s lacrosse

HARRISONBURG – Using a 7-1 run spanning the two halves, eighth-ranked Virginia snapped the 12th-ranked James Madison women’s lacrosse team’s seven-game winning streak Wednesday night as the Dukes fell 14-12 to the Cavaliers at University Park.

JMU falls to 7-2 on the year while the Cavaliers improve to 5-4 with a 0-2 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

With five seconds remaining in the first half, Virginia’s Liza Blue scored to break a 5-5 tie after JMU turned the ball over with less than one minute to go in the frame. Taking the momentum into halftime, Virginia pounced on the Dukes and scored six of the next seven goals to take a 12-6 lead with 13:53 to play.

Trailing by six, JMU mounted a valiant comeback effort in scoring six of the game’s final eight goals down the stretch. With less than four minutes to play, senior attacker Stephanie Finley scored twice to make it 14-11 with 1:52 to play. On the ensuing draw control. Virginia’s Courtney Swan earned the draw control and helped Virginia salt the game away. Though the Cavaliers turned the ball over with 1:28 to play and the Dukes scored with five seconds to go, the comeback fell short as JMU took its first loss since Feb. 1 when it fell to then-No. 2 North Carolina.

Finley and redshirt-sophomore attacker Betsy Angel led the Dukes with three goals apiece. Junior midfielder Jaci Gordon was the only other JMU player to score multiple goals in the contest. Both Finley and Gordon picked up a team-high two draw controls in the loss.

Blue led the Cavaliers with four goals, three ground balls and three draw controls while Kasey Behr and Kelly Reese each tallied twice off the bench. Courtney Swan, who came in as the team’s leading scorer with 14 goals and 14 points, was held to just one goal and one assist, but she picked up three ground balls and came away with four draw controls to leave her mark on the game.

The Cavaliers outshot JMU 29-26 in the game while Virginia won the draw control battle 16-12. Each team turned the ball over 11 times.

JMU returns to action on Saturday, March 21, when it takes on top-ranked Maryland at noon in College Park. The Terrapins mark the fifth ranked opponent thus far on JMU’s 2015 schedule.

HARRISONBURG – James Madison produced a plethora of hits as the team combined to bat .535 with six home runs to earn a pair of run-rule victories against Virginia, 9-1 and 10-2, on Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Dukes extended their win streak to 10, improving to 19-6 on the season, while the Cavaliers have dropped six in a row to fall to 5-23 in 2015.

Four JMU starters hit at least .600 from the plate, led by freshman Megan Good, who had a .800 batting average on 4-for-5 hitting. She launched a pair of home runs, drove four RBI’s and scored three runs. Junior Erica Field hit .667 on 4-for-6 batting with a home run, a team-best five RBI’s and two runs. Both junior Jailyn Ford and sophomore Niki Prince turned in .600 hitting clips in the sweep.

JMU’s starting pitchers In Good and Ford allowed a combined one unearned run for an unblemished 0.00 ERA, while conceding five hits and two walks.

JMU opens up Colonial Athletic Association play Saturday and Sunday against Towson. Due to TU’s field not being playable due to construction delays over the winter months, the series has been moved to the Maryland Softball Stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park.

Saturday’s doubleheader will take place at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. while Sunday’s finale will begin at noon. Admission is free for the entire series.