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Midfielder, Claire Meiser, attempts to gain control of the ball. 

JMU women’s soccer fell 2-1 to No. 8 Penn State on Sunday. It was the Dukes’ fourth straight loss and their fifth loss in the first six matches this season.

JMU got off to a quick start when senior forward Claire Meiser put one in the back of the net in the first minute for her second goal of the season. From there, the Dukes’ defense controlled the Nittany Lions for the majority of the first half until Penn State junior midfielder/forward Frankie Tagliaferri provided the equalizer just before halftime.

In the 53rd minute, Tagliaferri made another big play when she assisted on Penn State’s second goal, which was scored by redshirt freshman midfielder Ally Schlegel. The Nittany Lions outshot the Dukes 20-7 in the contest, including 12-3 in the second half and 9-4 in shots on goal.

The Dukes have struggled offensively early in matches this season. Meiser’s goal was just the third time JMU has scored in the first half, and the four shots on goal were a season-high for the first 45 minutes. 

Senior goalkeeper Hannah McShea set a career-high with eight saves and stopped a penalty shot in the first half.

This is the second straight season — and the third time in four years — that JMU has started the season 1-5. The Dukes return home and play their first home game in two weeks when they play George Mason on Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Contact the sports desk at breezesports@gmail.com. For more soccer coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.