Dukes Drop Season Opener to #2 North Carolina

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (JMU Athletics) -- Second-ranked North Carolina used a pair of scoring runs of at least five goals to down #17 James Madison, 15-7, to open the 2020 women's lacrosse season on Saturday afternoon in front of 525 fans at Sentara Park.

James Madison women's lacrosse

The Tar Heels (1-0) won for the second straight season against the Dukes (0-1), as it marked UNC's first win in Harrisonburg since 2016.

JMU was led by junior midfielder Charlotte Haggerty, who recorded her first career hat trick with three goals, to go with a pair of ground balls. Junior attacker Daria Lucchesi also had a multi-point game with one goal and an assist.

Defensively, senior defender Emma Johnson had a game-high three caused turnovers. Sophomore midfielder Lizzy Fox tied her career high, as she was one of three players to collect three ground balls. Senior midfielder Kelsey Reed also had three ground balls with three draw controls, and sophomore defender Rachel Matey had three pickups and a pair of draws.

Senior attacker Maddie McDaniel had five draw controls, leading all players, while sophomore defender Mairead Durkin added three draws. Between the pipes, redshirt junior Molly Dougherty made 12 saves, including seven in the second half.

The Tar Heels (1-0) had five players with at least two goals, including Katie Hoeg, who had eight points off two goals and six assists. Jamie Ortega scored three goals and dished out four assists, Tayler Warehime had three goals and two helpers while Scottie Rose Growney added three tallies. Taylor Moreno made 12 saves in net, allowing just three goals.

Leading 3-2 near the midpoint of the first half, UNC produced a 6-0 scoring run and held JMU without a goal for over 23 minutes to grab a 9-3 lead.
The Dukes struck back with a 4-1 run in just under 11 minutes to climb to within four, at 10-6, forcing UNC to bring back in starting goalie Moreno with 13:34 to play.
From there, UNC clamped down, scoring five in a row and stopping six of JMU's final seven shots on goal, to secure the win.

JMU held leads in all three hustle-stat areas, including a 13-11 advantage in draw controls, a 9-7 edge in caused turnovers and a slim 18-17 lead in ground balls.
The Dukes scored on three of five free-position attempts, while UNC was only two of eight.
Both teams committed 12 turnovers, with six apiece in each half.
The Tar Heels out-shot JMU 34-26, holding a four-shot lead in each frame.
With her five draw controls, McDaniel moved into a tie for second place all-time at JMU with 164 career draws. That matches JMU Hall of Famer Gail Decker (2001-04).
Johnson also climbed up to a tie for sixth place all-time in career caused turnovers, with 88.
Freshman attacker Isabella Peterson scored her first career goal on the game's final goal with 24 seconds remaining.
The opener was the fifth-most attended game for JMU lacrosse at Sentara Park.

"The team kept the focus on ourselves and that is that we're a gritty, workhorse team. I thought we capitalized in the [hustle stat] areas. We will look at our shooting and how we can finish our chances. I'm really proud of the defensive unit and the whole team for maintaining their attitude and effort despite the score line. It shows a big change in our mental toughness coming off of one year."

JMU returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 12 when it hosts #23 Virginia Tech (1-0). The opening draw is set for 5 p.m. at Sentara Park and will be streamed on MadiZONE.