State of JMU: Women’s Lacrosse
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Our annual State of JMU series takes a look at the James Madison women’s lacrosse program.
The Dukes have become a consistent contender at the national level under 17th-year head coach Shelley Klaes. JMU women’s lacrosse has advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven straight seasons and won a national championship in 2018. The Dukes were off to a 5-1 start in 2020 before that season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While nearly all of the sports programs at JMU are now in the Sun Belt Conference, the women’s lacrosse team is joining the American Athletic Conference due to the SBC not sponsoring the sport. The AAC women’s lacrosse league will feature Cincinnati, East Carolina, Temple, JMU, Florida, Old Dominion and Vanderbilt. South Florida will begin women’s lacrosse competition in The American for the 2024 season.
“They compete at the highest levels in the country,” said JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne. “Great student-athletes and so no matter what league we would’ve joined, we feel like they are going to be really, really good...I think this year, they’ll play some stiff competition. But some of these teams we haven’t faced before so I think it will be really encouraging.”
JMU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2022 before suffering a season-ending loss to Loyola.
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