HARRISONBURG, Va. -- No. 23 Washington State used an early offensive eruption to hand James Madison a 6-3 loss on Sunday afternoon in non-conference women's soccer action at Lower Soccer Field.
The nationally-ranked Cougars (3-0) struck early and often, taking the match out of reach by putting the Dukes (1-3) in holes of 5-0 and 6-1 in the first half while outshooting JMU by a 13-3 margin. After the break, however, the Dukes scored a pair of unanswered goals before the hour mark and holding WSU to a single shot on goal.
Senior Haley Crawford and junior Ebony Wiseman each collected their first goal of the season in the loss, while sophomore Iris Rabot tallied her second of the year. Crawford also picked up an assist, her third of the season already, while Wiseman and Rabot led the team with three shots each.
Senior Hannah McShea tallied four saves in the first half, while freshman Alexandra Blom notched a save in her first career action.
HOW THEY SCORED
1' | The Cougars struck after just 21 seconds, pouncing on a clearance as Makamae Gomera-Stevens bent a left-footed shot into the far post from outside the box.
10' | MacKenzie Frimpong-Ellertson doubled the advantage nine minutes later when she cut in from the left and blasted a shot just under the crossbar.
15' | Averie Collins made it 3-0 on Brianna Alger's corner kick, heading home the chance from six yards out.
22' | Collins picked up her brace just seven minutes later, pulling her first touch to the far post from 12 yards to make it 4-0.
25' | After Molly Myers was taken down in the box, Shayna Whieldon tucked her penalty kick just inside the upper-left corner.
42' | Washington State capped its scoring just before halftime on an own goal off a corner kick.
32' | Crawford pulled back the Dukes' first of the day just past the half-hour mark, latching onto a flicked-on header from junior Ginger Deel just past midfield, evading a pair of defenders on her run and burying her first of the year from 15 yards out.
55' | After a Cougar handball in the box, Rabot stepped up and cooly hammered home the penalty to make it 6-2.
60' | Wiseman picked up her first goal in a JMU uniform just five minutes later, taking a cross from Crawford and ripping home a shot from inside the box to close out the scoring on the afternoon.
QUOTING COACH WALTERS
"I learned more about this team in the second half today than I did in our first three matches combined. They decided to make the first half unacceptable for us and they played a fantastic second half of soccer against one of the country's top programs."
"To turn things around like that takes an incredible level of toughness, driven by the players and leaders we have on the field. We've seen what it will take to compete at the level we want to and I'm encouraged by the steps we've already taken."
The Dukes will head back on the road next weekend, travelling to Pennsylvania for matches at Saint Joseph's (Thursday, Sept. 5) and No. 7 Penn State (Sunday, Sept. 8). The Hawks are 2-1-1 on the season after a 1-0 victory over Stony Brook on Sunday afternoon.