The James Madison women’s soccer team defeated Appalachian State on a goal by redshirt-senior defender Sam Lofton (Lock Haven, Pa./Central Mountain) in the 90th minute, lifting the Dukes to a 2-1 victory Friday night at University Park.
“It was a good result for our team,” head coach Dave Lombardo said. “We played very well but just did not seem to have our finishing touch until late in the game. Credit Appalachian State, they defended well and made it difficult for us in the final third. We scored two great goals at the end, particularly Lofton’s dramatic free kick with only seconds left on the clock. We’ll take this result and get ready to face UNCG Sunday afternoon.”
Lofton’s goal came off a free kick just outside the penalty area with 36 seconds left in the game. Sophomore forward Ashley Herndon (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) tapped the free kick to the left and Lofton fired her shot on a rope past ASU goalkeeper Megan Robertson in the left side of goal. The tally is Lofton’s second goal of the season. Herndon tallied two assists on the night, giving her a team-high five assists in 2014.
All of the scoring in the game came in the last 10 minutes. JMU (5-3) broke the scoreless tie in the 81st minute when Braun-McLeod scored her team-high third goal of the season on a cross from freshman forward Caroline Fitzgerald (Arlington, Va./Washington-Lee). Braun-McLeod received the ball on the left post and tapped her shot back to the right for the goal.
Appalachian State (3-5) evened the game just 45 seconds later in the 82nd minute on a goal from Kebrina Keys off a corner kick as the ball trickled in past redshirt-senior goalkeeper Kate Courter(Lincoln Park, N.J./ Immaculate Heart). Courter took over at halftime for redshirt-junior goalkeeper Ellen Forrest (Midlothian Va./James River).
The Dukes outshot ASU 21-7 in the match, putting 11 shots on target to Appalachian State’s one. JMU outshot the Mountaineers 10-0 in the first half.
Right out of the break, Braun-McLeod nearly gave the Dukes a 1-0 advantage when she dribbled through a defender and took a quality shot that tracked just wide to the right.
Just minutes before Braun-McLeod put the Dukes on the board, redshirt-freshman midfielder Allison Bortell (Manakin-Sabot, Va./Collegiate) put a dangerous header right out in front of goal off a free kick and sophomore midfielder Allie Bunner (Bristow, Va./Patriot) took a shot from point-blank, but the play was ruled offisides.
The Dukes embark on a five-game road trip starting Sunday, Sept. 21, with a 1 p.m. match in Greensboro, N.C. against UNCG. The game marks the second-to-last nonconference contest of the season as the Dukes open Colonial Athletic Association competition next Friday, Sept. 26, at Towson before playing their final nonconference matchSunday, Sept. 28, against in-state rival Richmond.