A high shot knocked in at the far post by No. 8 Duke in the 67th minute of play proved to be the difference in James Madison field hockey’s 3-2 loss in Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Devils (11-4, 2-3 ACC) scored on their final shot of the second half to escape the Dukes (9-5, 1-2 CAA), who had not trailed during the game prior to the Blue Devils’ tally at the 66:55 mark of play. It is the second one-goal loss to a ranked opponent this season for JMU (0-3 vs. ranked foes in 2014).
JMU earned a penalty corner with 1:40 left in the second half, but redshirt-junior midfielder Taylor West’s (Princess Anne, Md./Pocomoke) shot was blocked by Duke and JMU was unable to fire in another attempt at the cage.
Lauren Blazing tabbed the win, allowing two goals and making three saves, while senior goalkeeper Hannah George(Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) tallied the loss (6-4) after allowing three goals and making eight saves. Senior back Dana Allaband (Elkton, Md./Rising Sun) also made her first defensive save of the season in the 59th minute of action.
Duke outshot Madison 21-7, including an 11-3 advantage during the second stanza. JMU was edged 6-4 in penalty corners by Duke; five of the Blue Devils’ corners came in the second half of play.
The first tally of the day came from junior forward Danni Wilson (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), who took a pass from West and fired the shot home from four yards out to give the Dukes a 1-0 lead 6:06 into the game. A little over seven minutes later, Duke tied the game at 1-1 after Hunter Bracale scored off a rebound on penalty corner play.
At the 16:03 mark of play, junior back Loes Stijntjes (Steenokkerzeel, Belgium/Heilig Hartcollege) regained the lead for JMU when she scored off a penalty corner. She took the feed from junior midfielder Saskia Chelmowski (Berlin, Germany/Gustav-Heinemann Oberschule) after the ball was inserted by junior midfielder Adrienne le Vatte (Port Elizabeth, South Africa/Alexander Road).
With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Duke tied the game again (2-2) when Aileen Johnson made a reverse shot into the cage on a pass from Jessica Buttinger.
JMU returns to league action on Friday, Oct. 24 as the Dukes head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a 7 p.m. showdown at Colonial Athletic Association foe Drexel.