Delaware Nearly Pulls Big Upset, Drops 12-11 Heartbreaker to James Madison in Final Minutes
April 20, 2012
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware women’s lacrosse team led by as many as three goals and held at least a share of the lead for all but the final minutes of the game as James Madison edged the Blue Hens 12-11 in a wire-to-wire Colonial Athletic Association contest Friday afternoon at Delaware Stadium on Senior Day.
Behind a trio of hat tricks, Delaware (4-12, 2-4) had a strong offensive output, as Allison Hahn (at right), Bridget Burns (bottom left), and Caitlin McCartney netted three goals each.
Defending CAA champion James Madison (10-5, 6-0), which clinched a berth in the 2012 four-team CAA tournament last week, was led by a pair of hat tricks that included four goals from Monica Zabel and three from Ariel Lane as the Dukes extended their winning streak to six.
“Our first half was by far the best half we’ve played as a team,” said second year head coach Kateri Linville. “From start to finish we talked about getting better and improving, and I thought we had a lot of players step up with all-around solid effort. The team came out and fought for 60 minutes and unfortunately JMU walked away the victor today.”
The Blue Hens led by as many as three goals in the first half before taking a hard fought 6-5 halftime lead.
Delaware grabbed seven first-half draw controls, which proved to make the difference as the Dukes won just five and scored as many goals.
Chelsea Fay got the Hens off to an early lead less than one minute into the contest on a free position shot.
James Madison would quickly tie things up just over one minute later with an unassisted goal from Ashley Kimener, but the Blue Hens answered with a 3-0 run to take over the game at 4-1. The Dukes once again would tie things up with a 3-0 run of their own to make it 4-4 with 11:22 to go.
Back-to-back goals from the McCartney and Bridget Burns would be enough to regain Delaware’s lead to close out the first stanza. Amy Roguski netted the last first half goal as the Hens held on to a 6-5 halftime lead.
The Dukes mirrored Delaware’s quick first half goal with a score from Zabel less than one minute into the second half to knot the score once again at 6-6.
McCartney and Hahn scored moments apart soon after to take back the lead for Delaware, pushing the score to 8-6 in the Blue Hens favor with 26:05 left to play. Continuing the back-and-forth battle, James Madison answered as the Dukes netted a pair of scores minutes apart to tie it up at 8-8.
The teams would trade the next two goals as the score remained even before Delaware surged ahead with another pair of consecutive goals from McCartney and Hahn to secure an 11-9 lead.
But the Dukes rallied into the final minutes of the game, netting three straight goals, including back-to-back scores from Zabel to start off the run and give JMU a 12-11 lead with 5:53 left on the clock. Neither team managed to score again.
While draw controls kept Delaware on fire in the first half, it hurt the Hens when it mattered most in the stanza. James Madison would win the final three draw controls of the game and convert each into a score to finish with the victory.
The Blue Hens fell short by three draws in the second half (8-5) after dominating the circle in the first half when the Hens won 7 of the 12 draws.
“Not matching them on the draw controls in the second half was a challenge for us in terms of mentality, especially since its something we’ve been working on and dominating more and more,” said Linville.
Delaware had the chance to tie in the final minute as senior Grace Wills scooped up a groundball with 1:44 on the clock. Hahn took the final shot of the game with eight seconds left on the clock for the Hens, but JMU goalkeeper Schylar Healy made the save for the Dukes as the final seconds ticked away.
“Unfortunately that’s just a tough learning lesson for us this year that I know we will use to get better,” stated Linville.
The Hens outshot James Madison by a 25-21 margin and converted 90 percent of their free-position attempts (4-of-5) after the Dukes had the whistle blown for 20 fouls. In comparison, Delaware committed just 13 fouls on the day. JMU converted 50 percent of free-positions (1-of-2).
In goal, Alex Zaugra made five stops for the Blue Hens while Healy saved six for the Dukes.
To celebrate Senior Day, Wills and Blair King (below) were honored during pre-game ceremonies as their parents escorted them onto the field. At halftime, a Senior Day video was played on the video board at Delaware Stadium as each senior was recognized for her accomplishments as a Blue Hen.
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The Blue Hens will look to bounce back in their regular season finale at Delaware Stadium on Sunday, April 22 as Delaware takes on George Mason at 1 p.m.
The game will be marked by a special Alzheimer’s Association Tribute Day. A limited number of exclusive ‘Forget Me Not’ shirts will be on sale during pre-game for $15 each. Fans are encouraged to pack the house with purple and wear the special t-shirts at the game to support the cause.