Dukes Power Past Tribe on Senior Day to Claim Outright Regular-Season Title
Powered by a stifling defensive effort and a balanced scoring attack, ninth-ranked James Madison captured the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title outright on Senior Day with a 16-9 victory against William & Mary on Sunday afternoon at Sentara Park.
The Dukes close the regular season with a 14-3 record and perfect 6-0 mark in CAA play, while the Tribe fall to 6-8 and 1-4. With the win, JMU won at least a share of the regular-season title for a program-record fourth straight year and enter next month's CAA Championship as the top seed.
It was the final regular-season home game for JMU's 2019 senior class, which has now won 60 games over the past four years. That is just one victory off the school record (61), set by the 2018 senior class a year ago.
Junior attacker Logan Brennan tied for game-high honors with four goals, including a three-goal second half. Senior attacker Hanna Haven had a team-best five points on three goals and two assists with a pair of ground balls. Freshman midfielder Lizzy Fox came off the bench to notch two goals, an assist, three caused turnovers and two draw controls.
The Dukes thrived defensively, as five players caused at least two turnovers and 13 different players recorded a ground ball. Senior defender Caroline Sdanowich had a massive afternoon, turning in career highs of five caused turnovers and six ground balls, to go with six draws. Junior defender Emma Johnson had three caused turnovers, and both senior defender Natalie Fuccillo and junior attacker Maddie McDaniel had two apiece.
In the circle, McDaniel won seven draws, matching W&M's team total. McDaniel became the second player in school history to surpass 100 draws in a season, as she stands at 102. She is just six off the single-season record of 108, set by Haley Warden last season.
Leading 2-1 early, JMU used a four-goal run while holding the Tribe off the scoreboard for over 24 minutes to build a 6-1 advantage. The Dukes led 8-3 at the break and opened the second with three straight to extend the lead to 11-3 for the largest lead of the day. W&M answered with five of the next six to draw to within four, at 12-8. Ahead 13-9 inside the last 10 minutes, the Dukes tacked on three more over the final 7:32 to secure the win.
The Tribe was led by Maddie Torgerson, who tallied a game-high six points on four goals and two assists. Belle Martire had four goals, and Elsa Rall made six saves with three ground balls.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Dukes end the regular season with a seven-game win streak, and extended their win streak over the Tribe to 12 consecutive games, dating back to the 2010 season.
JMU dominated in the shots department, out-shooting W&M 36-18, including 22-14 in shots on goal.
The Dukes held a commanding 20-7 advantage on the draw, marking the second-highest draw total in a game this season.
JMU also held leads in caused turnovers (16-9) and ground balls (21-18) to win all three hustle categories.
The Dukes were 4-of-9 on free-position shots, while W&M was limited to just one free-position shot on the day.
JMU had four fewer turnovers (17-21), which included turning the ball over just four times in the second half.
QUOTING SHELLEY KLAES-BAWCOMBE
"It was a total team effort today. We had 11 different players contributing to scores, 16 caused turnovers in the defensive end and 20 draw controls. We hustled for loose balls, made great defensive stops and shared the ball on attack, and that's all you can aks for as a coach."
OUTRIGHT REGULAR-SEASON CHAMPS
JMU secured the outright CAA regular-season championship for the third straight season and has clinched at least a share in a program-record four consecutive seasons. Sunday's win marked the eighth outright crown and 13th overall CAA regular-season title since joining the league in 1992. It was also JMU's sixth season going undefeated in conference play.
"I'm proud of our student-athletes, who buy into the culture of hard work here at JMU. We respect every opponent, and we're hungry to come out with the victory. Regardless of who's up and who's down, JMU always comes to play, and that is what I'm most proud of."
UP NEXT: CAA CHAMPIONSHIP
JMU will host the 2019 CAA Women's Lacrosse Championship on May 3 and 5 at Sentara Park. The top-seeded Dukes will face the No. 4 seed, which will be determined in next weekend's final CAA games. Towson has clinched the No. 2 seed, and Hofstra will be the No. 3 seed.