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JMU redshirt senior wide receiver Brandon Polk runs the ball down field against West Virginia after a completion.

It was an exciting week for JMU athletics; several teams started their season as the fall semester began. Here’s what you may have missed.

Football (0-1)

The Curt Cignetti era for JMU football started Saturday with a loss to West Virginia. The Dukes took a 7-3 lead into halftime, but were outscored 17-6 in the second half. Redshirt senior quarterback Ben DiNucci went 13-for-20 for 156 passing yards and an interception, and redshirt freshman running back Solomon Vanhorse scored the first touchdown of his career in the first quarter.

JMU’s upset bid falls short to West Virginia 20-13

JMU’s defense held West Virginia’s running game to 34 yards but gave up 260 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The Dukes play their first home game of the season Saturday when they welcome St. Francis (PA), with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

Women’s soccer (1-3)

JMU women’s soccer went 0-2 on its Pacific Northwest road trip. Thursday night, the Dukes lost 3-2 in overtime to Seattle. Junior forwards Sophie Brause and Ginger Deel accounted for JMU’s goals.

Sunday, the Dukes lost 6-3 to No. 23 Washington State. It was the most goals they had given up since giving up six to Princeton in 2010. JMU plays twice this week on the road: Thursday at Saint Joseph’s and Sunday at No. 7 Penn State. 

Men’s soccer (0-2)

JMU men’s soccer lost the first two matches of its season this week. Friday, the Dukes lost to FAU, 1-0, with the lone goal coming off a header in the 81st minute. Redshirt junior goalkeeper T.J. Bush saved seven shots throughout the contest.

JMU lost to FIU 3-1 Saturday. Senior midfielder Manuel Ferriol scored the only goal, and only four of the Dukes’ ten shots were on goal. JMU returns home to host the JMU Invitational; it will play Hofstra on Friday and Loyola (MD) on Sunday.

Volleyball (1-2)

JMU volleyball competed in the JMU Invitational over the weekend. It was swept by No. 22 Washington State on Friday morning, and in the second game later that night, the Dukes swept Stony Brook.

Saturday, JMU lost to Iowa, 3-0. The Dukes travel to High Point, North Carolina, this weekend to participate in the High Point Classic. They’ll play Kennesaw State on Friday and Furman and High Point on Saturday.

Cross country

JMU cross country started its season with a commanding performance at the Bridgewater Invitational. The Dukes finished first out of nine teams, tallying a meet-low 15 points and taking eight of the top-10 spots. Washington and Lee finished second with 62 points. 

Freshman Laura Webb finished first overall in her first collegiate race. JMU returns to Harrisonburg to participate in the JMU Invitational on Saturday.

Field hockey (1-1)

JMU field hockey split its first two games of the season this week. Friday, the Dukes defeated Bucknell, 3-2. Redshirt sophomore forward Marina Rupinski scored twice in the second half, and junior goalkeeper Caitlin Nelson had four saves.

Sunday, JMU lost 5-1 to No. 20 Liberty. The Flames outshot the Dukes 16 to four, with 12 of those shots coming on goal. JMU plays its first two home games of the season this week when it welcomes No. 14 Ohio State on Friday and Georgetown on Sunday.

Contact Joshua Gingrich at For more sports coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.