JMU lacrosse claimed its third straight CAA title with a 13-3 win over Hofstra. The three goals The Dukes three goals allowed marked a new CAA record for fewest goals conceded in a CAA title game. Three players scored at least a hat trick: Junior attacker Maddie McDaniel with four and senior attacker Hanna Haven and junior attacker Logan Brennan with three.
With McDaniel’s four goals in the game, she ended with eight goals in the CAA tournament and the title of Most Outstanding Performer of the tournament. McDaniel praised the team’s chemistry when it came to her overall performance in the tournament.
“It was really awesome, I didn’t really expect to be Most Outstanding Player,” McDaniel said. “All my goals are assisted by somebody else, so I think this is a group effort because I would not be able to get my goals without people passing me the ball.”
The first half was all JMU as the Dukes controlled the game in every dimension of play. The Dukes had two players score hat tricks in the first half — Brennan and McDaniel. JMU had 16 shots on goal leading to 10 goals, which was the most in a half in a CAA title game since 2007.
“I think we kept our ball movement great,” Haven said. “[Hofstra] switched their defense about 15 minutes into the game went from a zone to a man. They tried to face guard us a little bit … It’s always a good feeling when you get the other team’s defense out of their comfort zone and switching up what they’re doing.”
The second half didn’t see as much action as the first half, as both defenses stepped up the intensity when the rain started to come back to Sentara Park. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Molly Dougherty had 12 saves, her eighth double digit save game on the season.
“[The defenders] worked really hard, the seven of them together to make sure I was going to see some low angle shots that would be easier than go right down the gut.” Dougherty said. “So, kudos to them, they played really well.”
The program has become a dynasty over the last three years, with the three CAA titles and the 2018 National Championship. JMU head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe reflected on the achievement on winning three CAA championships.
“I’m just so proud of this program,” Klaes-Bawcombe said. “I can’t do it without them, I have incredible athletes on this team, I have incredible coaches on this team. Everyone is helping right now, I’m not doing this alone. When I came to James Madison, I came here to win championships and I’m excited to be able to bring that mentality to this team.”
JMU (16-3, 6-0 CAA) will wait until 8 p.m. to see where it’ll play in the NCAA Tournament at O’Neill’s Grill in Harrisonburg. It’ll be the Dukes fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Contact Brandon Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Lacrosse coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.