JMU women's lacrosse opens 2020 season Saturday with top-25 matchup

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The James Madison women's lacrosse team opens the 2020 season Saturday afternoon at home with a top-25 matchup.

The James Madison women's lacrosse team opens the 2020 season Saturday afternoon.

The No. 17 Dukes are preparing to take on No. 2 North Carolina at Sentara Park.

"Rip the band-aid off," said JMU redshirt junior goalkeeper Molly Dougherty. "I think that's really great but at the same time it allows us to focus on ourselves, learn a lot about ourselves, being able to compete with some of the highest caliber teams in the nation."

JMU is the preseason favorite to win the CAA again in 2020 after winning the last three conference tournaments. The Dukes saw their 2019 season come to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with an overtime loss to Stony Brook. In 2018, James Madison won the NCAA Division I National Championship.

"In order to be within our program you have to be okay with challenges," said JMU head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe. "I feel like we have gone back to feeling we had in 2018 where we are not cutting corners this year."

JMU and UNC are scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at Sentara Park.