HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison nearly erased a two-goal deficit on Thursday evening, but dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to No. 7 Georgetown in both women's soccer teams' season opener as part of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott JMU Invitational at Sentara Park.
The JMU women's soccer team lost its 2019 season opener to No. 7 Georgetown, 2-1, Thursday evening.
The Dukes (0-1) fell behind the nationally-ranked Hoyas (1-0) by a 2-0 margin in the opening hour, but spent the final third of the contest battling their way back, nearly finding an equalizer multiple times in the final minutes after sophomore Iris Rabot cut the deficit in half on a late free kick.
On the evening, Georgetown held an 8-7 advantage in shots and an 8-6 lead in corner kicks, but JMU held the Hoyas without a corner kick in the second half and outshot Georgetown after halftime, including a 4-1 margin in the final 20 minutes.
Rabot led all players with three shots on the evening, while senior goalkeeper Hannah McShea picked up a pair of saves.
HOW THEY SCORED
35' | Julia Leas opened the scoring before halftime, jumping on a deflected ball in the final third and ripping a shot from 20 yards that tucked itself just inside the left post.
54' | The Hoyas doubled their advantage just after halftime, taking advantage of a miscommunication in the back as Amanda Carolan tapped in a goal from nearly inside the goalmouth to push the lead to 2-0.
75' | Rabot opened her JMU scoring account with just over 15 minutes left, ripping a free kick from a tight angle that caromed off the goalkeeper's hands and bounced inside the left post to set the Dukes up for a final scramble in search of an equalizer.
QUOTING COACH WALTERS
"I'm really proud of the girls for digging deep and fighting to give us a chance in that game. Georgetown is a quality team with elite history and it's fantastic for us to measure ourselves against them in the first game of the season. We now have a road map as coaches to prepare for the future. All of our focus now turns to St. John's and preparing for the problems they present for our team."
DEBUTS FOR DUKES
Thursday's season opener marked the JMU debut for a number of new arrivals for 2019, including Rabot, junior Ebony Wiseman and freshmen Mia Pham, Julia Wolfe and Brittany Munson, all five of whom started the match.
Sophomore Annie Sorando and freshmen Lidia Nduka and Suwaibatu Mohammed also picked up their first minutes as Dukes, helping to fuel the late comeback attempt as the Dukes pushed for an equalizer.
The Dukes will be back in action on Sunday, Aug. 25, when they conclude the Fairfield Inn by Marriott JMU Invitational with an afternoon matchup against St. John's at 1 p.m. On Thursday afternoon, the Red Storm dropped a 2-0 decision to Cincinnati to open the weekend event at Sentara Park and both team's regular season.
Sunday's contest will be available as an audio broadcast on MadiZONE and will have streaming video on Facebook Live on the JMU Sports Facebook page.