Stout Defensive Effort Leads #7 JMU Lax Past High Point, 12-5

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Seventh-ranked James Madison used a 7-0 run and a stifling defensive effort to upend High Point 12-5 in its women's lacrosse home opener on Saturday afternoon at Sentara Park.

The Dukes win for the third straight outing, improving to 3-1 on the year, while the Panthers fall to 1-2.

"We were really focused about having a better first," Head Coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe said. "In our first away game, we didn't compete or show up. Today we wanted to show we are true competitors and set the tone at home in 2019. Teams are going to have to work hard to beat the Dukes."

Senior attacker Hanna Haven registered a career-high eight points off four goals and four assists (ties career high). Junior attacker Logan Brennan scored two goals with an assist, while the Dukes got a pair of scores from both sophomore midfielder Charlotte Haggerty and junior attacker Kelsey Reed.

"Hanna is a huge threat against the zone with her dodging capability, ability to draw fouls and her vision to pass out of the dodge," Klaes-Bawcombe said.

Nine different players recorded at least one caused turnover, as the team combined for a season-best 17, which was seven better than JMU's last outing. Junior defender Emma Johnson led the way with four caused turnovers and four ground balls, tying her career high in each category. Senior defender Lauren DuVall also had a career-best three caused turnovers, as well as two ground balls, and three other players caused a pair.

Senior Caroline Sdanowich won a career-high seven draw controls while tallying four ground balls. Reed won four draws and junior attacker Maddie McDaniel added three, as the Dukes dominated the circle by a 15-4 margin.

"I was really pleased with our poise and composure on the defensive end," Klaes-Bawcombe said. "It came with a lot of clean ground balls and defensive stops and really put High Point's best players under a lot of pressure to get something done for their team. We also had a better circle presence with Caroline and Kelsey getting some of those 50-50 balls on the circle."

HPU jumped out to 3-2 lead midway through the first half, but the Dukes would hold the Panthers off the scoreboard for 22 minutes between the two halves, reeling off seven straight goals from five different scorers. The Panthers trimmed the deficit to four, at 9-5, but the Dukes came back with three in a row down the stretch, holding the visitors scoreless for nearly the final 13 minutes.

JMU out-shot HPU 25-17, including a 19-13 advantage in shots on goal.
The Dukes dominated the draw for the first time this season, winning eight of 11 in the first and only conceding one in the second, out-drawing the Panthers 7-1 in the final 30.
JMU forced HPU into 22 turnovers, 17 (season high) of which were directly caused by the Dukes.
JMU had three free-position goals, all in the first half, to High Point's one.
HPU did lead in one category, edging the Dukes in ground balls (24-22)
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Molly Dougherty improved to 3-1 between the pipes, making six of her eight saves in the second half.
Ashley Britton led the Panthers with three goals and an assist, while Abby Hormes and Rachel Foster each had one score.

Hanna Haven tied her career high in points last weekend against UConn, but bested that performance against HPU, notching a career-best eight points off four goals and four assists. Her assist total also matched her career high and it was the second straight game she netted four goals.

Haven shot up JMU's career charts, as she now ranks ninth all-time with 62 career assists. She is also tied for 17th in points with Robyn Dunn (1982-85), at 162. She needs just four goals to reach 100 for her career.

JMU returns to action next Friday, March 1 when it hosts Canisius. The opening draw is set for 5 p.m. at Sentara Park.