Sacred Heart's Stephanie Finley Commits to JMU

By Chris Goldberg, PhillyLacrosse.com

Sacred Heart rising senior midfielder Stephanie Finley has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at James Madison University.

Finley scored 77 goals this year for the Lions, earning All-Athletic Association of Catholic Academies honors for the second straight year while helping her team reach the league playoffs. Finley, who plays club lacrosse for the Phantastix, also played for the Philly 1 team that took third at the National Tournament Memorial Day weekend.

Finley, who also considered Hofstra, UMBC and George Mason, plans to study business at JMU.

"I loved the whole atmosphere of the campus and people and it's the perfect size," she said. "It's the perfect distance from home. The team was so welcoming and the coaches are great. And it's in a college town (Harrisonburg, Va.) and I like that."

This year JMU went 17-3 and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. One of the team's top players was Mary Kate Lomady, an Abington grad who earned Third-Team All-American as a junior. Other Philly girls on the roster are rising junior midfielder Annie Brophy (Archbishop Carroll), redshirt junior goalie Alex Menghetti (Penncrest) and redshirt freshman attack Megan Piotrowicz (Plymouth Whitemarsh).

Meanwhile, Dukes coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe was named womenslacrosse.com National Coach of the Year and one of her assistants, Kristin Hopson, is a Radnor graduate.

Finley, who also had 44 assists, 47 draw controls, 22 forced turnovers and 40 groundballs this season, was happy that the Lions achieved their goal of reaching the playoffs. Sacred Heart also earned its first defeat ever against perennial league power Villa Maria Academy (14-13 in overtime).

"From the beginning of the year our goal was to make it to the playoffs," said Finley, who has 177 career goals. "Hopefully, next year we'll go farther. We're losing a few seniors, but we'll be just as strong."

2010-06-23



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