JMU roundup: Dukes garner two CAA women’s lacrosse honors

RICHMOND — Following a 2-0 week for the 12th-ranked James Madison University women’s lacrosse team, senior midfielder Alison Curwin and redshirt-senior defender Kaci Starkloff have been named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, the conference announced Monday.

Last week, JMU extended its winning streak to seven games with a 13-12 victory over then-No. 9 Penn State on the road and a 19-14 win over Rutgers. The streak is the second-longest winning streak since Head Coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe took over the program in 2007.

Curwin tallied five goals over the two games last week, three of which came against Rutgers on Saturday. Against the Nittany Lions, Curwin gave JMU its first lead of the day after beating the Penn State goalie with 3:16 remaining in regulation. She also added one ground ball, one caused turnover and two draw controls in the victory over Penn State. Against the Scarlet Knights, the senior picked up two ground balls while adding a draw control to go with the three goals.

Starkloff played a key role for the Dukes in upsetting Penn State on Wednesday, as she came up with three ground balls and a draw control to lead JMU’s defensive effort. Marking Maggie McCormick, who leads the Nittany Lions with 11 goals and 18 assists thus far, Starkloff held the quarterback of Penn State’s offense to just two goals and one assist throughout the 60 minutes. Starkloff continued her strong play on defense against Rutgers with one ground ball and two draw controls in the win over the Scarlet Knights.

Following the two wins, JMU jumped three spots in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) rankings to No. 12 in the nation while the Dukes advanced one spot in Inside Lacrosse’s Brine Media Poll to No. 15 in the country. The No. 12 ranking marks the fifth-straight week JMU is in the IWLCA Top 20 and the No. 15 ranking in the Brine Media Poll is the third week in a row the Dukes are in the poll.

In the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Division I Women’s Top 20, JMU moved up to No. 9 in the nation. Madison was the biggest mover in the poll, as the Dukes were No. 16 last week before jumping seven spots this week.

The Dukes return to action Wednesday when they host No. 8 Virginia. First draw is set for 7 p.m.