GAINESVILLE, Fla., Feb. 20, 2014 – James Madison lacrosse was unable to overcome No. 7/4 Florida on Thursday evening, falling 21-8 to the Gators in Gainesville, Fla.
The Dukes dropped to 1-1 on the season in their first road game while the Gators improved to 3-1 this spring.
Junior attacker Stephanie Finley (Media, Pa./Sacred Heart) led the JMU offense with three goals off five shots, all on goal. Junior midfielder Ali Curwin (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) was second with two goals off four shots while senior attacker Emily Rhoads (Alexandria, Va./St. Stephens & St. Agnes) notched the Dukes’ two assists on the day.
Florida was led by Shannon Gilroy and Carly Ross, each with a game-high five goals. Gilroy also had a game-high three assists to finish the day with eight points. Devon Schneider added in three goals while Sammi Burgess tallied two assists.
Cara Canington earned the win in goal (3-1) for the Gators, committing two saves and allowing three goals in 30 minutes of action. Junior goalkeeper Schylar Healy (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty H.S.) took the loss (1-1), committing four saves and allowing 19 goals over 50:30 in goal. Freshman Maura Grady (Marblehead, Mass./Pingree) saw the first in-goal action of her career, allowing two goals over nine minutes and 30 seconds of work.
Finley fired the first shot for the Dukes, scoring just 2:35 into the first half. The Gators, however, followed with a 6-0 run and took a 6-1 lead with 20:19 to go in the first stanza.
Senior attacker Amy Roguski (Sykesville, Md./Liberty H.S.) stopped Florida’s run with a tally at the 18:39 mark of the first half, taking a pass from Rhoads. Florida’s Carly Ross retaliated with a score off a free-position attempt and sparked a 4-0 run by Florida, pushing the Gators’ advantage to 10-2 with 10:46 left in the first.
The run ended when Finley posted her second goal of the day, scoring off a free position at the 9:23 mark. The Gators pushed to another 3-0 run to take a 10-goal lead with 7:33 left before half time. Florida pushed the run to six straight for the 16-3 lead heading into the locker room.
The Dukes opened the second half on a 3-0 run, starting with Curwin’s free-position goal just 39 seconds into the second stanza. Sophomore midfielder Taylor Gress’ (Westminster, Md./Manchester Valley) first shot attempt of the day went by Mary-Sean Wilcox in the Florida goal, and Finley followed with her third goal of the day to pull the Dukes back to within 10 (16-6) with 25:43 left on the clock. Another Florida run gave the Gators a 21-6 advantage with 8:24 to go.
Freshman midfielder Leah Monticello (Forest Hill, Md./North Harford) scored her first collegiate goal with 3:54 remaining in the game off a free position. Curwin scored her second goal of the day off a pass by Rhoads with less than two minutes to go.
Florida outscored Madison 16-3 in the first half, but the Dukes held even with the Gators in the second half at 5-5 in goals scored. They also outshot the Gators in the second half 11-7 (17-to-31 overall). The Gators converted all five free-position shots into goals while the Dukes were 3-of-4.
JMU and Florida came out even on the ground as both teams recovered 17 ground balls. JMU notched six causes over 14 turnovers by Florida, and the Gators earned eight causes on 13 turnovers by the Dukes.
The Dukes continue their time in Florida as they swing up to Jacksonville for a 10:30 a.m. match with the Dolphins on Saturday, Feb. 22.