The second-seeded Dukes (11-6) never trailed in the opening half and held a slim 3-2 advantage at halftime. The third-seeded Pride (11-7), however, scored four unanswered goals to build what proved to be an insurmountable 6-3 lead with 5:24 left to play.
Hofstra's Taylor Albright led all players with three goals, and she scored two of them in the Pride's go-ahead surge in the second period. Brittain Altomare finished with a game-high three assists, two of them leading to Albright goals.
Sophomore Steph Finley (Media, Pa./Sacred Heart) paced JMU's offense with two goals and an assist. She also had a team-high three ground balls.
The Dukes were bounced from the CAA Tournament in the semifinal round for the first time in four seasons. JMU played in the title game the previous three years, winning the CAA crown in 2010 and 2011.
Hofstra out-shot JMU 20-14 and had 20 ground balls to 12 for the Dukes. JMU controlled eight draws to four for Hofstra, but each team had three draw controls in the second period.
JMU All-CAA sophomore goalkeeper Schylar Healy (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) made eight saves, while Hofstra goalie Kelsey Gregerson finished with four saves, all coming in the second half. Gregerson also had a game-high five ground balls and caused a key turnover with an interception of a JMU pass with 3:56 to play.
Healy also had three ground balls, and JMU's draw control leaders were senior Kelsey MacDonald (Glyndon, Md./Bryn Mawr), redshirt sophomore Kaci Starkloff (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) and sophomore Hannah Verschoore (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll) with two each. MacDonald led JMU with two caused turnovers.
Now JMU awaits a possible NCAA at-large bid. The Dukes are among the teams under consideration for the 13 at-large berths in the 26-team NCAA Tournament. The tournament pairings will be revealed in a televised announcement on NCAA.com at 9 p.m. Sunday, May 5.
Hofstra advances to the CAA title match on Sunday, when the Pride will face top-seeded and defending CAA champion Towson in a 1 p.m. game. Towson scored twice in the final three minutes to pull out an 8-7 win over fourth-seeded Drexel in the earlier CAA semifinal game on Friday.