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No. 10 JMU stifles Hofstra's offense in CAA title game

No. 10 JMU stifles Hofstra's offense in CAA title game

The Hofstra women’s lacrosse team season ended in heartbreak as their Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship hopes were dashed, losing 13-3 to the James Madison University (JMU) Dukes on Sunday, May 5, at Sentara Park in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The game started off even for both teams as No. 10 JMU netted their first goal to take a 1-0 lead just a little over four minutes into the contest. Hofstra then quickly responded when junior Alexa Mattera hit the back of the net off a free position shot at the 23:59 mark of the first half. This would be the last time Hofstra would score a goal until senior Jenna Budd dented the twine toward the end of the first half off an assist from freshman Amanda Guerra.

JMU, in between the two goals scored by Hofstra, rattled off a nine-goal spurt in the first half that featured scoring from multiple players from different angles of the field. This run from the Dukes saw the score balloon from 1-1 early in the first half to an astounding 10-1 near the end of the half, allowing them to take a commanding 10-2 lead heading into the half.

Coming out of the break, the rest of the game would see few goals scored by either team. The Dukes would only score three more goals in the second half to the Pride’s one, scored by sophomore Arianna Esposito to make the final score 13-3.

This was a dominating performance by JMU, not only on offense but also defense. Their suffocating defense limited Hofstra’s typically high-scoring offense to three goals, which is their lowest scoring output of the season and just the third time all year that the Pride did not amass double digit goals in a game. Hofstra’s previous season low was eight goals, also against JMU earlier in the season when they lost a double overtime affair at home, 9-8.

Freshman Jess Smith had 10 saves in the contest and sophomore Shannon Boyle tallied five ground balls with two caused turnovers. Darcie Smith won three draw controls and Mattera added a pair of her own, while freshmen Jackie Gatti and Erin Tierney each posted two caused turnovers. For the Dukes, Hanna Haven tallied five points with three goals and two assists, while Maddie McDaniel posted four goals in the contest.

This game did not see a goal from Hofstra star Alyssa Parrella in her final game of the season, but that did not take away from her spectacular play all year. She broke the single-season CAA goals record with 85 and set the Hofstra record of 105 points tallied on the season.

“James Madison played a really great game, hats off to them; congratulations to JMU winning the conference tournament,” said Hofstra head coach Shannon Smith. “I wish them best of luck going into the NCAA tournament representing the CAA conference.”

This was Hofstra’s first CAA Championship appearance since 2013.

The Pride ends their season 12-7 while JMU heads to play in the NCAA tournament, moving to 16-3. The Dukes head down to College Park, Maryland, to face No. 17 Stony Brook University in the first round on Friday, May 10, at 4 p.m. The winner faces No. 1-ranked University of Maryland in the next round.

Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics

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