HARRISONBURG, Va., Aug. 31, 2012 – After opening its season with a trip to Kent, Ohio, the James Madison field hockey team returns home for a pair of non-conference games at the JMU Field Hockey Complex this weekend. JMU takes on Lafayette at noon on Saturday before returning to the field on Sunday, also at noon, to take on 25th-ranked American.
The Dukes went 1-1 during the trip to the Buckeye State, defeating Vermont 3-2 in the season opener before suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Kent St. The win over the Catamounts was the seventh time in the last eight seasons that Madison has opened its season with a win.
Dating back to 2005, JMU is 5-2 in its home openers, with its only losses being to second-ranked Wake Forest in 2009 and fifth-ranked North Carolina in 2006.
Three players registered goals during the opening weekend of play for Madison and four different players accumulated points. Redshirt junior forward Rachel Wein (Perryville, Md./Perryville) and sophomore forward Bethany Ashworth (Lititz, Pa./Trinity) each recorded a goal and an assist to help lead the Dukes past Vermont. Redshirt freshman forward Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md./Pocomoke) picked up her first career game-winning goal while sophomore back Dana Allaband (Elkton, Md./Rising Sun) had the assist.
In goal, freshman Lena Wimmert (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany/Lise-Meitner Gymnasium) started both games for JMU. She went 1-1 with a 1.50 goals against average. The rookie stopped eight of the 11 shots fired at her for a .727 save percentage.
Wimmert was one of eight freshmen to make their collegiate debuts for the team last weekend. Other players to start for JMU included back Loes Stijntjes (België, Belgium/Heilig Hartcollege) and midfielder Saskia Chelmowski (Berlin, Germany/Gustav-Heinemann-Cherschule). Forwards Erin Gallivan (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford), Danni Wilson (Port Elizabeth, South Africa/Collegiate) and Kristen Reitano (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) and backs Adrienne le Vatte (Port Elizabeth, South Africa/Alexander Road) and Julia Osisek (Gibbsboro, N.J./Eastern) made their debuts off the bench.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
The Leopards come into the weekend with a 1-0 record after dominating Ball State 5-1 at home a week ago. They are the reigning Patriot League champions after knocking off Lehigh and Bucknell in the 2011 Patriot League Championship. They advanced to the play-in game of the NCAA Championship where they lost a 2-1 overtime game to Ohio.
Four different players recorded goals for Lafayette in their win over Ball State, including two from midfielder Brittany Blass. Blass connected on her two goals on only three shots. Midfielder Emily Valeo chipped in a goal and two assists for a four-point day while midfielder Haley Keenan and forward Aimee Smith had a goal each.
Sophomore Jessica Deutsch handled the duties in net for the Leopards, playing all 70 minutes and allowing just one goal. She made three saves for a .750 save percentage and has a 1.00 goals against average.
Andrew Griffiths is in his sixth season as the head coach of Lafayette. He owns a 56-43 record at the school.
The Eagles are ranked 25th in the inaugural 2012 Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll. They got off to a tough start last weekend, dropping games to Richmond and No. 3 Old Dominion at home. They host No. 15 Ohio State on Friday evening before making the trip to Harrisonburg on Sunday.
In last weekend’s action, American received goals from back Gina Hofmann and midfielder Keelin Winslow. Hofmann added an assist to lead the team with three points. Forward Kati Rothenhoefer, midfielder Rebecca Treharne and midfielder Grace Wilson registered an assist each.
Ashley Dalisera played all 140 minutes in net for the Eagles, allowing six goals for a 3.00 goals against average. She made 13 saves on 19 shots for a .684 save percentage.
Head coach Steve Jennings is in his 14th year as the head coach of the American field hockey team. He owns a 172-86 record with the team.
JMU and American have played 30 times previous to this weekend’s meeting with the Dukes holding a 21-9 lead in the all-time series. Madison is 15-2 in the games played in Harrisonburg, including a 3-2 shootout win on Sept. 20, 2009 in the last meeting at the JMU Field Hockey Complex. The team’s last faced each other during the 2010 season with the Eagles picking up a 2-1 win in Washington, D.C.
This weekend’s game is the first meeting between JMU and Lafayette.
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