Well-rested Dukes ready for NCAA Tournament
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The James Madison women’s lacrosse team is preparing for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Dukes will meet UConn Friday night at Ridley Athletic Complex on the campus of Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. Start time is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN+.
For James Madison, it will be the Dukes first game in nearly two weeks. JMU was banned from the CAA Tournament this spring due to the athletic program’s upcoming move to the Sun Belt Conference. The Dukes’ last action came in the regular-season finale, an 18-12 win over Drexel on April 30.
“This is the first year in three years that we have had a full season,” said JMU head coach Shelley Klaes. “We’re battered, we’re bruised, we’re tired and a weekend off could be exactly what the doctor ordered right now.”
After a 3-4 start to the season, JMU reeled off 10 straight wins to comfortably earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Dukes have not lost since a 12-5 defeat to Rutgers on May 13.
“Our coaches were like this is a great opportunity for us to focus on ourselves and what we need to work on as a team,” said JMU redshirt sophomore attacker Isabella Peterson, when discussing the Dukes’ long layoff in between games. Peterson, the CAA Player of the Year, has scored 68 goals this season which is tied for sixth most in the country.
When the Dukes and Huskies square off on Friday, it will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. JMU defeated UConn, 13-7, in Sparks, Maryland on February 19. The Huskies are led by All-American midfielder Sydney Watson, who ranks third in the NCAA in draw controls per game with 9.5 to go along with a Big East-leading 3.56 goals per game.
Prior to the JMU-UConn contest, No. 6 seed Loyola will host Mount St. Mary’s in a first round game with start time set for 3 p.m.
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