The James Madison women’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to La Salle Sunday afternoon at McCarthy Stadium, falling to 4-3 on the 2014 season.
“It was a tough weekend for us as a team,” said JMU head coach Dave Lombardo. “It was a disappointing game on Friday against Villanova. They played us very physically throughout the game and unfortunately, we didn’t respond. Today was a hard result to take, though, because I felt we played our best soccer of the season. We just didn’t finish our chances in the final third of the field. We’ll iron some things out this week and we’re looking forward to turning things around next weekend against Appalachian State and UNCG.”
The Explorers (3-2-2) broke a scoreless battle just 17 seconds into the second half on Kelsey Haycook’s fourth goal of the season. The senior forward picked up a loose ball that was bouncing around in the box and chipped her shot to the right past redshirt-junior goalkeeper Ellen Forrest (Midlothian, Va./James River).
La Salle doubled its lead in the 58th minute when Danielle Marx finished off the third chance on a flurry of shots in front of the JMU goal. Off a corner kick, Haycook took a header that was saved by Forrest. The rebound bounced out to Jessika Kagan and her shot hit the post, but that rebound bounced to Marx who put her shot home for what turned out to be the game-winner.
Trying to push the envelope in the final minutes of the match, sophomore forward Ashley Herndon (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) scored her second goal of the season. The goal in the 87th minute came off a corner kick as Herndon finished the chance served in by redshirt-senior forward Sam Lofton (Lock Haven, Pa./Central Mountain) just inside the left post.
In the 89th minute looking for the equalizer, sophomore forward Sydney Braun-McLeod (Ottawa, Ontario/Glebe Collegiate Institute) sent a shot in on La Salle goalkeeper Jessica Wiggins but the senior made the stop to preserve the victory for the Explorers.
JMU (4-3) outshot La Salle in the first half, but the Explorers ultimately came out in the second half and fired 11 shots to outshoot the Dukes 17-16 in the match. JMU held a slight advantage in shots on goal, putting 10 of its shots on target to La Salle’s nine.
In the match, Forrest made a season-high seven saves while Wiggins stopped nine, one save off her season-high mark of 10. Herndon took eight of JMU’s 16 shots in the game, putting four of them on target. Herndon’s two goals this season ties her with Braun-McLeod and senior forward Katie Hyland (Islip, N.Y./Islip) for the team-high.
The Dukes return home Friday afternoon, Sept. 19, for a 5 p.m. match against Appalachian State at University Park. The game will be the first leg of a JMU soccer doubleheader as the men’s team will take on Robert Morris 30 minutes after the conclusion of the JMU/Appalachian State match.