JMU's Kacey Knobloch carries the ball upfield against Wofford on March 12.

It was an up-and-down game for JMU lacrosse on Sunday versus No. 15 Towson. After the Dukes controlled the first half, the Tigers made it close, but JMU hung on to win and moved to 7-4 (1-1 CAA).

JMU scored the first five goals of the game to grab an early lead. Redshirt sophomore attacker Kacey Knobloch had a hat trick in the first 11 minutes of action. Seven Dukes scored in the first half, with redshirt junior midfielder Charlotte Haggerty and redshirt freshman attacker Isabella Peterson each contributing two. 

JMU won the draw controls 11-4 and outshot Towson 19-7 in the opening frame. The Dukes had 14 shots on goal, compared to the Tigers’ six. The game went into halftime with JMU up 11-3.

Towson looked like the No. 15 team in the country in the second half. After redshirt sophomore defender Rachel Matey scored to give the Dukes a nine-goal lead, the Tigers scored seven of the next eight goals to cut the lead to three. Towson sophomore goalkeeper Carly Merlo had several big saves after halftime to prevent the Dukes from pulling away.

With under four minutes left, Knobloch struck again, ending the Tigers’ run and giving JMU a much-needed goal. Towson scored twice to cut the deficit to two, but couldn’t finish the comeback in the remaining time frame.

Junior attacker Kerri Thornton and sophomore midfielder Blair Pearre each had four goals for the Tigers. Knobloch’s quartet of goals is a career-high. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Lizzy Fox set two career-bests for the Dukes, picking up five ground balls and five caused turnovers.

Redshirt senior defender Emma Johnson had three caused turnovers, giving her 113 for her career and moving her into second-place in program history. In first place is former midfielder Haley Warden (2015-18), a current assistant coach on the Dukes, with 119.

“We shared the ball so well on the attacking end, we made our shots look easy,” head coach Shelley Klaes said to JMU Athletics. “Credit to them for not giving up, but I'm really proud of this team's defensive effort holding a really strong team to three goals in the first half."

 JMU welcomes William & Mary to Sentara Park on Friday. The opening draw is set for 5 p.m.

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