Late surge propels #17 JMU past UConn, 11-8

The No. 17 James Madison women's lacrosse team defeated No. 23 Virginia Tech, 9-8, in overtime Wednesday night at Sentara Park.
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SPARKS, Md. (JMU Athletics) -- James Madison scored six of the game's final eight goals to fend off UConn, 11-8, in women's lacrosse action on Sunday afternoon at the US Lacrosse Complex's Tierney Field.

The 17th-ranked Dukes improved to 2-1 on the year and remained unbeaten in the neutral-site series with UConn, moving to 4-0 since 2017. The Huskies fell to 1-1 with the loss.

Eight different Dukes scored goals, including two apiece for senior Kelsey Reed, junior Daria Lucchesi and freshman Taylor Marchetti. The three scored six of JMU's seven second-half goals, aiding in JMU's comeback win. Senior Logan Brennan also had three points off a goal and two assists.

JMU dominated play in the circle, doubling up UConn in draw controls, as senior Maddie McDaniel had a game-high seven. In addition to her two goals, Reed also tallied seven hustle stats, with three draws, two caused turnovers and two ground balls. Sophomore Rachel Matey also had three draw controls and a pair of caused turnovers and ground balls. Marchetti and fellow freshman Isabella Peterson each had two caused turnovers and two ground balls.

UConn was led by Lia LaPrise, who scored two goals with three assists. Stephanie Palmucci had two goals and an assist, and goalkeeper Grace Beshlian made 14 saves with five ground balls. Julia Ozimek also had five caused turnovers and four draws to lead the Husky defense.

UConn opened the game scoring three of the first four to take a 3-1 lead with 12:37 to play in the first half.
JMU answered with four straight to bridge the halves, taking a 5-3 lead with 27:18 remaining in regulation.
The Huskies came back with three goals separated by 2:32 to recapture the lead, at 6-6, with 23:17 to play.
Lucchesi and Reed netted three in a row for the Dukes to give them an 8-5 lead with 16:41 to play. Marchetti later struck twice and Brennan ended the game with a score to give the Dukes the win.

JMU dominated in the shots department, out-shooting UConn by a margin of 36-17, including 25-15 in shots on goal.
The Dukes held leads in both draw controls (14-7) and caused turnovers (14-12), while the Huskies edged JMU in ground balls (16-14).
UConn converted on 3-of-5 free-position chances and JMU went 0-for-2.
JMU had a solid advantage in turnovers, with just 13, as compared to UConn's 20.
For the third straight game, senior Emma Johnson moved up the JMU charts, as she added a caused turnover to move into a tie for fifth all-time with 92 for her career.
Marchetti netted her first two career goals, including the game-winning goal with 12:36 to play, which was her first with the program.
Freshman Isabella Peterson and sophomore Lizzy Fox have each scored in all three games this season, as both found the back of the cage once vs. UConn.
JMU improved to 5-2 all-time against UConn, as Sunday marked the fourth time in the seven-game series that the match was decided by three goals or less.

"First I want to credit UConn's goalie for doing a great job keeping them in the game. I'm really proud of our defensive effort today in holding our ground while our attack found their confidence in their shooting. We had tremendous sparks off the bench today, with five of 11 goals coming from non-starters. I'm really proud of the Dukes coming out with the win against a well-coached team."

JMU stays out on the road next week, as it travels to #25 High Point (1-1) on Saturday, Feb. 22. Game time is set for 1 p.m. from Vert Stadium and will be streamed on ESPN+.