Dukes Breeze by San Diego State in Non-Conference Finale

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (JMU Athletics) -- Tenth-ranked James Madison opened the game with an 11-0 scoring run, and 11 different players recorded a goal en route to a 19-8 win against San Diego State on Saturday evening at Sentara Park.

The Dukes wrap up non-conference play with an 8-3 record, while the Aztecs fell for the third straight time, dropping to 8-4 on the year.

"I was impressed with our team's resilience coming off last week," Head Coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe said. "We pushed them hard this week on their decision making, their shot selection and taking their time when they had possession of the ball. I thought we had excellent ball movement right out of the gates today, and that created great chances in the attacking end."

Four JMU players tallied four points in the win, led by junior midfielder Halle Duenkel, who registered a career-high four goals. Freshman midfielder Lizzy Fox turned in her first career hat trick, with three goals and an assist, and senior attacker Hanna Haven and sophomore attacker Katie Checkosky each produced two goals and two assists.

Junior attacker Logan Brennan had a pair of goals, and sophomore midfielder Charlotte Haggerty added one goal and one assist. Junior attacker Maddie McDaniel had a dominant day in the circle, recording a career-best 12 draw controls, including 10 in the first half.

"Anytime you have the ball, that creates confidence," Klaes-Bawcombe said. "To have the ball on Maddie's stick off the draw, it gives everybody confidence that we're in control of the game. It flowed right into the offense and created chances in transition. It's exciting for our program that we have that kind of talent in Maddie."

The Dukes opened the game by scoring the first 11 goals before the 12-minute mark. Duenkel recorded her fifth hat trick of the season during the game-opening run, recording three of the team's first eight scores. JMU also scored four free-position goals in the first 10+ minutes to set the tone. SDSU never drew closer than nine the rest of the way, and JMU led by as many as 12 down the stretch.

Defensively, senior Caroline Sdanowich caused three turnovers, to go with three draw controls and her first career goal. Senior Natalie Fuccillo also had three caused turnovers with a pair of ground balls, and junior Emma Johnson added two caused turnovers and four ground balls. Between the pipes, redshirt sophomore Molly Dougherty and senior Ellie Harmeyer each played a half, tallying five saves each.

The Aztecs were led by Harlowe Steele, who had two goals and an assist. Julia Sheehan and Taylor Sullivan both scored twice, and Elizabeth Adams matched Sdanowich and Fuccillo for game-high honors with three caused turnovers.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
JMU out-shot San Diego State 33-23, including a 26-18 ledger in shots on goal.
The Dukes held a 16-12 advantage in draw controls (11-6 in the first half).
JMU doubled up the Aztecs on caused turnovers, at 16-8, and had a 21-16 edge in ground balls.
The Dukes were 5-of-8 on free-position shots, while SDSU failed on all three attempts from the 8-meter.
JMU had seven fewer turnovers, giving the ball away 13 times, as opposed to SDSU's 20.
The win was JMU's second by over 10 this season, joining its 21-4 win on March 1 against Canisius. The Dukes have also held opponents to eight goals or less in five games this season.

DEFENSE EQUALS OFFENSE FOR SDANOWICH
Senior Caroline Sdanowich did something that was nearly an entire career in the making, scoring her first career goal on Friday. In JMU's game-opening 11-goal run, Sdanowich took a pass off a draw-control win and surged into the offensive zone. With a fair amount of space, she drove inside and ripped a shot for her first career score.

It marked the first time in over three years a JMU defender recorded a goal. Back on Feb. 18, 2016, Anne Zabel went coast-to-coast for her first and only collegiate goal in the closing seconds of JMU's win against Virginia Tech.

"She's showing us she can win possession," Klaes-Bawcombe said. "Caroline has tremendous speed, so we need to take advantage of her being able to ignite that transition offense. We've been pushing our high attackers to clear through for her and give her that alley dodge. We trust she's going to make the right decisions for the team, and she did that today."

UP NEXT
JMU begins Colonial Athletic Association play next weekend with a Friday road game and Sunday home game. The Dukes open CAA action on Friday, April 5 at Delaware. It closes the week on Sunday, April 7 against conference rival Towson at Sentara Park.