Dukes Start on 9-Goal Run and Coast by Drexel

HARRISONBURG, Va., April 18, 2014 James Madison opened the game with a 9-0 run over Drexel to cruise to a 17-7 lacrosse victory over the Dragons on Friday evening at University Park.

The Dukes improved to 9-6 overall and 3-1 in conference play, clinching a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association championship tournament May 2-4, 2014. The Dragons dropped to 6-8 overall and 1-2 in league action.

Over the opening 13:10 of play, JMU notched nine goals to put the game out of Drexel's reach. Three of the first nine goals came from the stick of sophomore midfielder Taylor Gress (Westminster, Md./Manchester Valley), who scored a career-high four goals during the game. The Dragons put together a 3-0 run to close the gap to 9-3 in favor of JMU, but never got closer than six goals.

Junior goalkeeper Schylar Healy (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty H.S.) earned the win (9-6), committing 10 saves and allowing seven goals. Teresha Bradley picked up the loss (6-8) after nine saves and 17 goals allowed.

Junior attacker Stephanie Finley (Media, Pa./Sacred Heart) tied Gress for game-high goals with four on the evening. Coming off the bench, redshirt-senior attacker Megan Piotrowicz (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) added three points off two goals and one assist while freshman midfielder Leah Monticello (Forest Hill, Md./North Harford) added three points off one goal and two assists.

Junior midfielder Jordan Wilkins (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) scored her first goal of the season on Friday to put the Dukes up 17-7 off a pass from sophomore midfielder Alex Revel (Fairfax, Va./Oakton), the first assist and point of her career.

The Dragons were led by Emily Duffey who posted three goals and went 1 for 2 on free positions. Amanda Norcini added two assists while Kelly Palace, Drexel's leading scorer, posted two goals.

JMU posted a 15-11 advantage in draw controls over Drexel. Finley led the Dukes with four draw controls, giving her 53 for the season and moving her into third all-time in JMU history. The single-season record is 55 draw controls, reached twice before (Jess Marion, '00; Ashlee Dardine, '04).

Madison and Drexel each posted 10 caused turnovers on the afternoon. Junior midfielder Ali Curwin (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) led JMU with two while eight other Dukes forced the Dragons to mishandle the ball. Caroline Thiele led Drexel with three caused turnovers while Palace added two. While the Dragons had an advantage in overall turnovers (12 to JMU's 16), the Dukes tallied a 21-10 edge in ground balls.

The regular season concludes for JMU on Sunday, April 20 as the Dukes host league-foe Hofstra. Action begins at 1:00 p.m. at University Park while the senior ceremony begins at approximately 12:45 p.m.

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HARRISONBURG, Va. The first 10 minutes of the game have been critical for Drexel all season long. In several of their losses, the Dragons fell into big early holes and found themselves unable to recover. At the start of each of their recent victories, Drexel was the team building a large early lead. On Friday afternoon at James Madison, the Dragons' old troubles came back to haunt them as the Dukes built up an 9-0 lead in the game's first 13:10 and went onto a 17-7 victory.

James Madison (8-6, 3-1) won eight of the game's first nine draw controls and had six big ground balls during its opening sequence before the Dragons got on the board on an Emily Duffey goal with 15:59 remaining in the first half. Drexel (6-8, 1-2) got some good looks at the goal before the Duffey goal, but stops from James Madison goalkeeper Schylar Healy and the Dukes' overall ability to keep the ball out of the Dragons' sticks allowed the Dukes to build their early advantage.

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