HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The No. 10 nationally-ranked James Madison women's lacrosse team begins postseason play with the start of the CAA Women's Lacrosse Championship Friday afternoon.
The top-seeded Dukes meet No. 4 seed Elon in the first semifinal at Sentara Park. Start time is scheduled for 4 p.m.
No. 2 seed Towson will meet No. 3 seed Hofstra in the second semifinal at 7:05 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday at 12:05 p.m.
Dukes earn multiple All-CAA honors
Following its fourth-straight regular-season title, James Madison women’s lacrosse earned three major Colonial Athletic Association yearly awards and nine total players were recognized on the 2019 all-conference teams in a vote by the league’s seven head coaches.
Senior defender Caroline Sdanowich was voted CAA Defensive Player of the Year, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Molly Dougherty was named CAA Goalkeeper of the Year, and Head Coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe was tabbed CAA Coach of the Year.
JMU led the conference with nine total selections, including four on the All-CAA First Team, three on the All-CAA Second Team and a pair on the CAA All-Rookie Team. Joining Sdanowich and Dougherty on the First Team were senior attacker Hanna Haven and junior attacker Maddie McDaniel.
Earning Second Team honors were junior attacker Logan Brennan, junior defender Emma Johnson and junior midfielder Kelsey Reed, and both freshmen midfielders Lizzy Fox and Rachel Matey made the All-Rookie squad.
JMU produced Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and for the sixth time in school history, and Dougherty is the inaugural recipient of the Goalkeeper of the Year award. Klaes-Bawcombe is now the league’s all-time leader with six Coach of the Year accolades, and she’s just the second CAA coach to ever win five at one school and four in a row.
A Tewaaraton Award top-25 nominee, Sdanowich was voted the league’s top defender after leading JMU’s backline. She’s the lone CAA player to rank in the top 10 of each hustle-stat category, as she’s fourth in caused turnovers (31), seventh in draw controls (63) and eighth in ground balls (37). She’s been responsible for 50% of JMU’s 8-meter defense in her ability to block and deflect shots, resulting in JMU limiting teams to a .287 free-position percentage. During conference play, she ranked tied for first in ground balls (15) and second in caused turnovers (15), earning Defensive Player of the Week once.
Dougherty earned First Team All-CAA honors for the second straight year. A three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week, she leads the league with a 9.01 goals against average with a .523 save percentage. Her save percentage ranks fourth nationally, while her GAA is 10th in Division I. During conference play, she shined with a 6.76 GAA and .585 save percentage. Dougherty recorded seven games with 10 or more saves, including a career-high 19 at Penn State.
Klaes-Bawcombe was voted Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive season after guiding the Dukes to a 14-3 record during the regular season and an unblemished 6-0 mark in conference play. The Dukes captured their fourth straight regular-season title, including a third straight in outright fashion.
Haven, who is JMU’s leading scorer, earned all-conference status for the second straight year after being a second team honoree with Sdanowich a season ago. She’s one of the league’s top point producers, as she ranks ninth in goals (36), second in assists (33) and third in points (69). Haven turned in five games with at least three goals and six outings with three or more assists. Her bull-dodging ability also allowed her to be one of the top-ranking free-position shooters, in which she is sixth (11) in the CAA.
McDaniel is one of the premier draw specialists in the CAA, as she ranks second in draw controls (102). She is just the second player in school history to reach the century mark in a single season and is only six shy of the record. She set the single-game school record with 12 draws against San Diego State and won seven or more in eight outings. McDaniel is also JMU’s third-leading scorer, with 29 goals this season.
Brennan earned all-conference honors in her first season as a starter, as she’s the team’s second-leading goal scorer and point producer. She ranks 10th in the CAA in goals (31) and ninth in points (43). Brennan has turned in five games with at least three scores, including a career-best five in JMU’s comeback win at Virginia Tech to earn CAA Player of the Week laurels.
Johnson, who’s started every game in her career, has turned into a stout 1v1 defender for the Dukes, as she leads the team in ground balls and is second in caused turnovers. She ranks third in the CAA in ground-ball collections (46) and is eighth in caused turnovers (23). During league play, Johnson was tied for the CAA lead in ground balls (15). She also won Defensive Player of the Week once in 2019.
Reed is JMU’s most well-rounded midfielder and stepped up during conference play as a consistent scorer. She’s third on the team in draw controls (28), fourth in ground balls (22) and fifth in caused turnovers (14). Reed has recorded 17 goals and six assists, which included 11 scores during CAA play alone.
Fox is JMU’s leading rookie scorer, as she has recorded 15 goals and nine assists, ranking sixth on the team in points (24). She’s also third for the Dukes in caused turnovers (17) and seventh in ground balls (18). Fox had four multi-goal games and recorded three or more points in four outings, including a season-best five (2g, 3a) against Temple.
Matey has appeared in all but one game and earned a starting spot in the midfield late in the season. She’s one of nine JMU players with double-digit goals (13). She’s also tallied 10 ground balls, 14 draws and seven caused turnovers, which included taking a charge in double overtime, setting up JMU’s game-winning possession at Hofstra.
Hofstra’s Alyssa Parrella was voted CAA Player of the Year, and Elon’s Kaley Thompson took home Rookie of the Year to round out the major award winners.