#16 JMU lax throttles Rutgers, 16-5, for fifth straight win

The No. 16 James Madison women's lacrosse team defeated No. 21 Penn State Wednesday evening at Sentara Park.
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (JMU Athletics) -- No. 16 James Madison used an 8-0 run to bridge the halves, and three players registered hat tricks to lift the Dukes to a dominant 16-5 road win at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at SHI Stadium.

The Dukes won their fifth straight, improving to 5-1 on the year, while the Scarlet Knights dropped their fourth in a row to even their record at 4-4. It was JMU's largest win of the 2020 season and the biggest win in the nine-game history of the series.

Senior attackers Maddie McDaniel and Logan Brennan paced the scoring, with four goals apiece. Sophomore Kacey Knobloch recorded another hat trick with three goals and one assist, and junior Katie Checkosky tied her career high with four assists. Freshman Isabella Peterson also scored twice.

Between the pipes, redshirt junior Molly Dougherty had another strong showing, conceding just five goals while making six saves in over 51 minutes of work. Sophomore Kat Buchanan made a save without allowing a goal in the final 8:34 of relief.

Defensively, sophomore Rachel Matey had a team-high eight hustle stats, with five draw controls, two caused turnovers and a ground ball. Sophomore Mairead Durkin won four draws, to go with a caused turnover and two ground balls, and senior Kelsey Reed had a career-high four ground balls, a caused turnover and two draws.

For Rutgers, Cassidy Spilis scored twice, and no other player had more than a single point.

JMU opened the game with three straight goals in the opening eight minutes plus, with two coming from Brennan.
Leading 6-3, JMU closed the first half with three in a row over the final 2:42 to lead 9-3 at the break.
The Dukes reeled off eight consecutive goals between the halves to take a commanding 14-3 lead and never led by fewer than nine the rest of the way.
Rutgers was limited without a goal for over 21 minutes while JMU went on its 8-0 run.

JMU held a 26-19 shots advantage, including 21-12 in shots on goal.
The Dukes had a 13-9 lead in draw controls, as they've led that category in all six games this season.
JMU also had a 7-5 advantage in caused turnovers and 17-13 lead in ground balls.
JMU was 14-of-15 in clears while Rutgers was just 11-of-15.
With the win, JMU now sits at 499 victories all-time as a program.
McDaniel joined the 100-point club with her four goals. She's now at 102 career points.
Peterson extended her goal streak to six games, and Checkosky has a point in nine straight.

"Defensively we were solid all game. On offense, we're just sharing the ball, getting nine different players to contribute in the scoring. We were able to maintain a strong defensive effort despite seeing a lot of different players on the field. It's nice to see our offense playing with confidence. They've been going up against a strong defensive unit at JMU, and it's hard to build confidence when you're practicing against one of the top defenses in the country. They're gaining confidence playing other teams and the validation that they can make it happen. I'm really proud of the work they put in."

JMU continues its four-game road trip next week on Friday, March 13 at Canisius. The opening draw is set for 4 p.m. on the Golden Griffin Broadcast Network.