Dukes Fall at No. 8 Penn State, 2-1

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (JMU Athletics) -- James Madison struck first against No. 8 Penn State on Sunday afternoon, but the Nittany Lions rebounded to hand the Dukes a hard-fought 2-1 defeat in non-conference women's soccer action at Jeffrey Field.

Haley Crawford prepares for the eventual game winning corner kick against St. John's on Sunday, August 26.

After senior forward Claire Meiser put the Dukes (1-5) on top inside the first minute, JMU held that scoreline until just before halftime, before conceding the eventual gamewinner shortly after the break as the Nittany Lions (4-1-1) pressed the attack with 12 second-half shots.

After PSU went ahead, the Dukes pushed forward, generating numerous chances for the equalizer across the final 20 minutes, including a penalty kick that had to be pushed off-target by a diving save inside the right post.

Meiser and junior forward Ginger Deel paced the offense with two shots apiece on the day, while senior goalkeeper Hannah McShea racked up a career-high eight saves across her 90 minutes.

1' | Meiser got the Dukes on the board after just 42 seconds, taking advantage of a long throw-in deep in Penn State territory to stake JMU an immediate 1-0 lead with her second goal of the year.
45' | The Nittany Lions levelled things just 41 seconds before halftime, when they were awarded a penalty kick. Frankie Tagliaferri saw her attempt saved, but followed the shot and was able to tap in the rebound to make it 1-1.
53' | Ally Schlegel provided the gamewinner just 7:14 after halftime after Tagliaferri pulled a pass back from the right endline, allowing Schlegel to tap in the go-ahead goal from eight yards.

"That was a fantastic battle where we went toe to toe with a Top 10 team. I loved our players commitment to the game plan. 100% bought in to fighting for the result. Our next step is to find a way to finish these close games against class opponents."

The Dukes will return home for the first time in nearly three weeks on Thursday evening, when they welcome George Mason to Sentara Park for a 7 p.m. contest. Through five matches, the Patriots are 1-3-1 on the season after picking up a 2-0 home victory over Binghamton on Sunday.