No. 10 JMU women's lacrosse defeats Towson

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison utilized a solid defensive effort, and junior midfielder Kelsey Reed scored three second-half goals to lead the 10th-ranked Dukes to an 11-7 Colonial Athletic Association women’s lacrosse victory against Towson on Sunday afternoon at Sentara Park.

The Dukes win for the third straight time, improving to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in CAA play, while the Tigers fall to 2-9 and 0-1. The win was also the fourth straight for JMU against Towson.

Reed recorded her first career hat trick, turning in a career-best three goals with an assist for her first four-point performance. Senior attacker Hanna Haven led the game in points for the second straight outing, registering two goals and three assists. It’s the fifth game this season that Haven has dished out at least three assists.

The Dukes also had a pair of goals from both junior attacker Logan Brennan and sophomore midfielder Charlotte Haggerty. Junior attacker Maddie McDaniel also won nine draw controls, which was three more than Towson’s team total.

Defensively, redshirt sophomore Molly Dougherty made 10 saves between the pipes, marking the sixth time this year she has tallied double-digit stops. Senior defender Caroline Sdanowich had a two caused turnovers, with three draws and two ground balls. Junior defender Emma Johnson and freshman midfielder Rachel Matey each had two caused turnovers and two ground balls, and senior defender Natalie Fuccillo collected a team-high four ground balls.

JMU surged out to an early 3-0 lead just over six minutes in, but neither team produced a goal until late in the frame. Towson needed nearly 23 minutes before scoring for the first time, but that would be its lone score of the half, as JMU used a pair of goals by Haven over the final 2:28 to take a 5-1 lead into halftime.

Reed sparked the offense in the second half, scoring back-to-back goals to put the Dukes up 7-2 with 16:48 to play. Less than a minute later, Matey scored to extend the lead to six, and the Tigers never drew closer than four down the stretch.

Towson was paced by Natalie Sulmonte, who had three goals and an assist, and Kaitlin Thornton added two goals and an assist. Olivia Conti led the defense with four caused turnovers and five ground balls, both game highs.

“I’m really pleased with our fouling game, our ability to clog space in the 8-meter and having a strong defensive presence on our opponents’ free-position shots. We did a great job finishing our chances on the attacking end. Defense is playing hard-nosed ball without fouling, they’re doing a great job of protecting Molly, and Molly in turn is coming up with some great saves. The defensive unit has the offense’s back as they work through some growing pains and try to find themselves and build confidence.”

JMU hits the road for a pair of CAA matchups next week. The Dukes head to Philadelphia to take on Drexel on Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m. before traveling to Hempstead, N.Y. to face Hofstra on Sunday, April 14 at noon.