The James Madison women’s soccer team locked up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association tournament Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 win over Elon in overtime at University Park on Senior Day.
Entering the day, JMU (12-7 overall, 7-2 CAA) had a chance at winning the CAA regular-season crown for the second year in a row, but Northeastern ended that hope by topping Drexel 1-0. Overall, the Huskies finished with 22 points while JMU earned 21.
After battling Elon (5-12, 1-8) through two scoreless halves, the Dukes came out in overtime with pressure on the Elon goal and were rewarded in the 95th minute when sophomore midfielder Allie Bunner (Bristow, Va./Patriot) dribbled into the top of the box and was fouled by Elon goalkeeper Kate Murphy.
With Murphy coming out to contest the ball, Bunner cut to the right while Murphy was going to the ground looking to get between the ball and the goal. In the process, Murphy tripped Bunner and the Dukes were awarded a penalty kick. Redshirt-senior forward Sam Lofton (Lock Haven, Pa./Central Mountain) stepped up to take the penalty and converted by going to the right while Murphy guessed left.
The goal was Lofton’s third of the season. She now has 13 points this season, which is tied for second on the team behind sophomore forward Ashley Herndon (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge).
The Dukes outshot Elon 16-6 in the match, putting 10 shots on goal while the Phoenix could only manage one shot on goal.
Both teams changed goalkeepers at halftime. Redshirt-senior goalie Kate Courter (Lincoln Park, N.J./Immaculate Heart) started the contest and played the first 45 minutes without being tested while Hanna Macaulay started for the Phoenix. Redshirt-junior keeper Ellen Forrest (Midlothian, Va./James River) came on after halftime and made one save while Murphy replaced Macaulay for Elon and made seven saves in the 49:10 she played.
The shutout is the second in a row and fourth in the last six games for the Dukes. Forrest has now recorded three complete-game shutouts and five total shutouts while Courter has been a part of two clean sheets this year. JMU finishes the regular season having not given up a goal at University Park since Sept. 19 against Appalachian State. In nine home games this season, JMU went 8-1 while only giving up four goals.
In conference play, the Dukes outscored opponents 17-7. Only Towson and Northeastern scored multiple goals against JMU, as both scored twice against Madison on Sept. 26 and Oct. 5, respectively.
JMU will face the winner of the No. 3/No. 6 game in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 7, in Boston at Northeastern. That match will be played Sunday, Nov. 2, between third-seeded Hofstra and sixth-seeded Towson in Hempstead, N.Y. Hofstra beat Delaware 4-1 on Sunday to secure the No. 3 seed and Towson beat William & Mary 2-0 to ensure its CAA Tournament berth. Delaware and Towson finished tied with 11 points in CAA play, but Towson won the head-to-head matchup to win the tiebreaker. During the regular season, JMU topped Hofstra 3-1 on the road in Hempstead on Oct. 3 while beating Towson 4-2 to open CAA play on Sept. 26.
Top-seeded Northeastern awaits the winner of the No. 4/No. 5 game between William & Mary and Drexel. The Huskies topped both teams 1-0 during the regular season.