HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The University of Delaware fell to James Madison 1-0 in a Colonial Athletic Association field hockey battle Friday night, but the Hens still have one more game left to clinch a post-season playoff berth.
James Madison’s Ysaline Nobels scored the game’s only goal off a feed from Dana Allaband off a penalty corner with 13:31 left to play to lift the Dukes to the victory over Delaware in a game that was played in 40 degree temperatures with a light rain and snow flurries.
The Blue Hens (8-10, 3-4 CAA), who had a two-game win streak snapped after defeating Drexel and Towson last week, held a 13-10 advantage in shots and took one more penalty corner than James Madison (8-9, 4-4 CAA) but could never find the back of the cage.
James Madison, which won its second straight game and moved into third place in the league standings in its final league game of the year, got a big effort from goalkeeper Margo Savage, who turned back seven Delaware shots. Delaware goalkeeper Noelle Diana (at right) stopped four shots in goals for the Blue Hens.
After the Dukes took the lead, the Hens had three shots on net but could not connect. A shot by Tory Sharpless just 22 seconds after the goal was saved by JMU defender Rachel Palumbo, a shot by Nicole Onorato with 1:05 left to play was wide, and another attempt by Sharpless with just 36 seconds left was saved by Savage.
The loss dropped Delaware back into a three-way tie for fifth place in the CAA standings with Drexel and Towson. Top-ranked Old Dominion has already clinched the regular season title and the right to host the CAA Tournament Nov. 3-6 in Norfolk, Va.
Despite the loss, the Blue Hens are still in the thick of the playoff race. Should Delaware defeat Virginia Commonwealth in its regular season finale Sunday at 12 noon in Richmond, Va. the Hens would finish no worse than sixth and would earn a post-season spot. Should the Hens fall to VCU, they would need several outcomes of other games to work in their favor to have any chance.