NCAA Tournament: #19 JMU women’s lacrosse bounced by USC, 13-10

jmu-logo-newNo. 19 James Madison battled throughout but fell to USC 13-10 in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA Lacrosse Championship on Friday night at Koskinen Stadium.

The Dukes ended the season with a 15-5 record, while the Trojans improved to 14-5 and advanced to take on No. 3 seed Duke in the second round Sunday.

Madison could not find a way to get the draw controls away from USC’s Michaela Michael, who had nine of the Trojans’ 17 draw controls, while Madison only managed eight as a team. Michael converted that into a game-high five goals, to go with one assist.

JMU was outshot 23-19 and was whistled for 20 fouls, compared to just six for the Women of Troy. Each team had nine turnovers, but JMU’s were more evident on clear attempts, as the Dukes were just 10-for-15 as compared to USC’s 7-for-8.

The Dukes were led by junior midfielder Taylor Gress, sophomore midfielder Leah Monticello and redshirt-sophomore attacker Betsy Angel, who each tallied two goals. Angel also added an assist.

Senior attacker Stephanie Finley had a goal and two assists, while three other players produced scores. Senior midfielder Ali Curwin led the Dukes defense with three caused turnovers and three ground balls and senior goalie Schylar Healyfinished the contest with seven saves for Madison.

Attacker Carline de Lyra added three goals and assist for USC, midfielder Gabby McMahon had two goals and midfielder Kylie Drexel chipped in one. Gussie Johns had three saves in to earn the victory in net for the Trojans.

JMU got off to a solid start, taking a 3-0 lead just more than seven minutes in off goals from junior midfielder Jaci Gordon, Gress and Monticello. However, USC came back with two of its own to make it 3-2 with 18:45 to play in the first. The teams then traded goals for most of the remainder of the period before USC scored three of the last four to tie the game at 8-8 heading to the halftime break.

Senior defender Lexi Cross opened the second half by recording her first goal of the season, to give the Dukes a 9-8 advantage with 27:43 to play. However, JMU would not find the back of the net again until just over four minutes to play, as USC continued to control the draws as part of 5-0 run to take command at 13-9 with 5:10 to play. Angel scored with 4:10 to play to make it 13-10 but JMU could not get the key turnovers to score in the closing minutes.

The game marked the final appearance for JMU for its 2015 seniors – attackerStephanie Finley, midfielder Alison Curwin, defender Hannah Verschoore, defender Kaci Starkloff, defender Lexi Cross and goalie Schylar Healy.


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