NEWARK, Del. (JMU Athletics) -- Behind a 15-save performance by redshirt sophomore Molly Dougherty and a solid defensive effort, 10th-ranked James Madison grinded out a 10-3 victory at Delaware to open Colonial Athletic Association women's lacrosse play on a rainy Friday night at Grant Stadium.
The Dukes improve to 9-3 on the year and 1-0 in CAA play, while the Blue Hens fall to 6-6 and 0-1. The win was JMU's fourth straight against UD and ended a two-game skid in Newark.
Dougherty registered 12 of her 15 saves in the first half alone, allowing just one goal over the opening 30 minutes. The Dukes held Delaware off the scoreboard for over 22 minutes between the host's first and second goals and then another 20 minutes before conceding a third.
"We were really impressed with our defensive effort from top to bottom," Head Coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe said. "The defenders did a great job forcing low-angle shots that Molly could easily clean up. The defense did their job and Molly was in position to do hers. I'm really proud of them for being able to keep Delaware to three goals on 26 shots."
Senior attacker Hanna Haven led the offense with a game-high five points on two goals and three assists. Junior attacker Maddie McDaniel turned in her third hat trick of the season, providing three goals and an assist, to go with six draw controls and two caused turnovers. Sophomore attacker Katie Checkosky also had three points off a goal and two helpers.
Defensively, senior Caroline Sdanowich caused a pair of turnovers while also collecting three ground balls and four draw controls. Junior Emma Johnson tallied two caused turnovers and three ground balls, and freshman Rachel Matey, making her first career start in the midfield, had a pair of ground balls.
JMU opened the game with a string of three straight goals before UD got on the board with 16:28 to play in the first half. The Dukes answered with three more, as five players accounted for JMU's six first half goals. After allowing the first goal of the second half, JMU reeled off four in a row en route to the conference-opening triumph.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Delaware out-shot JMU 26-21, including an 18-15 clip in shots on goal. JMU improved to 2-2 on the year when not holding the shots advantage.
The Dukes dominated the circle, winning 12 of the game's 15 draw controls.
Delaware held leads in both caused turnovers (15-7) and ground balls (23-10), as it marked just the fourth game JMU has not caused more turnovers.
JMU limited the league's second-leading scorer, Christine Long (3.27 goals/gm) to just one goal on five shots. The CAA's leading assister, Mia DeRuggiero (3.55/gm) was held without an assist for the first time this season.
Chantae Sims led the UD defense with four caused turnovers, while Maura McNutt and Julia Dambly each had three. McNutt also had a game-high five ground balls.
DEFENSE PUTS ON A SHOW
JMU and Delaware competed for the 46th time on Friday night, and the three goals allowed were tied for the fewest JMU had ever given up against the Hens. JMU also won 15-3 at Delaware back on April 18, 2003. The 13 total goals between the teams was the fifth-fewest combined goals in series history.
JMU returns home to host rival Towson on Sunday, April 7. The game, slated for a noon start, is the CAA Game of the Week and will be streamed live on Lax Sports Network.