Second-seeded James Madison lacrosse’s comeback bid against top-seeded Towson fell just short on Sunday afternoon as the Dukes fell 12-11 in overtime of the Colonial Athletic Association championship game to the Tigers.
Today’s game marked the third time the 2014 Co-Regular Season CAA champions have battled for the tournament title (Towson leads 2-1). The Dukes dropped to 11-7 on the year while the Tigers moved to 11-7 overall with their third-consecutive CAA tournament championship.
The Tigers’ Michelle Gildea scored the game-winning goal with 35 seconds left in the first overtime off a pass from Gabby Cha. Her tally broke the 11-all tie redshirt-senior attacker Megan Piotrowicz (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) forced with 1:24 remaining in the first overtime off a pass from senior attacker Amy Roguski (Sykesville, Md./Liberty H.S.).
Towson’s Kelsea Donnelly tallied the win (11-7), allowing 11 goals and committing eight saves over 66 minutes in goal. Junior goalkeeper Schylar Healy (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty H.S.) took the loss (11-7), allowing 12 goals and committing five saves over the same time in the cage.
JMU forced three tie scores after overcoming a 5-0 deficit to begin the game, including a 5-2 run to end the first half. The Dukes outscored the Tigers 10-5 over the final 49:35 of regulation to send the game into extra time with a 10-10 game.
The first tie at 9-all came after junior attacker Stephanie Finley (Media, Pa./Sacred Heart) forced Towson’s Samantha Brookhart into a turnover. Finley secured the ground ball and took Towson goalkeeper Kelsea Donnelly one-on-one.
While Donnelly made the save, she was unable to corral the ball, and redshirt-freshman attacker Betsy Angel (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country School) won the battle with her away from the net for the loose ball. She quickly sent it into a waiting Roguski in front of the net, who powered it into the goal before Donnelly could get back, and tied the game at 9-9 with 15:38 remaining.
The Tigers took a 10-9 lead with 10:13 left on the regulation clock after Andi Raymond found Cha, but the Dukes remained composed and were able to secure the ball. Coming out of a timeout, JMU was able to set up a game-tying play with 2:20 remaining as Roguski found junior midfielder Ali Curwin (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) for the score that sent the championship game into overtime knotted at 10-all.
Colby Unkle picked up a pass from Ashleigh Rohrback 1:36 into the first overtime to give Towson an 11-10 advantage. Three minutes later, Roguski found Piotrowicz waiting on the left side of the cage and the redshirt senior fired it by Donnelly to tie the game for the third time.
Roguski tied for game-high points with five, scoring twice and assisting on three goals. Finley and Piotrowicz each tied for game-high goals with three. Raymond led the Tigers with five points off three goals and two assists. JMU held the shot advantage 26-24.
Towson edged JMU in overall draw controls 14-13, including a 4-1 advantage in the first overtime. Finley picked up six of the Dukes’ draw controls, pushing her single-season record to 69. JMU edged Towson in overall ground balls 18-17, led by Healy’s four.
JMU caused 11 of Towson’s 13 turnovers, including three by senior Leah Perrotta (Forest Hills, Md./Fallston) while the Tigers forced just eight of the Dukes’ 14 turnovers. The Dukes were successful on 11 of their 16 clear attempts, and the Tigers successfully cleared the ball on 12 of 14 attempts.
This was the second time this season the Dukes fell 12-11 to the Tigers in overtime. During the regular season (April 13, 2014), Towson overcame JMU by the same score in double overtime in Towson. The Tigers defeated Hofstra 6-5 in the CAA semifinals while the Dukes dropped Delaware 13-9 to advance to the championship game.