HARRISONBURG, Va., April 4, 2013 – Coming off its second straight appearance in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Championship, the James Madison field hockey team announced its 2013 schedule Thursday.
Head coach Antoinette Lucas and the Dukes play 18 games in 2013, including eight at home at the JMU Field Hockey Complex, nine on the road and one at a neutral site.
“We are really excited about our 2013 schedule,” Lucas said. “We have a good balance that includes some really great teams. I am especially pleased with the opportunity to play such a solid schedule early in the season in preparation for conference play in late September and October. I am always happy with the ability to play two great non-conference teams, such as Davidson and Wake Forest, in the middle of conference play.”
Madison’s schedule includes 12 non-conference games and six CAA meetings. Eight of the 11 Division I field hockey conferences are represented on Madison’s slate, including two games against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Dukes face a number of tough challenges in 2013 with three games against teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2012 and five games against teams that were ranked in the final NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll. Nine of next year’s opponents concluded last season ranked in the top 40 of the NCAA Ratings Percent Index (RPI).
The 2013 campaign kicks off at home as Madison hosts a pair of teams from the Mid-American Conference. On Friday, Aug. 30, the Dukes welcome Kent State to Harrisonburg for a 7 p.m. game before concluding the weekend on Sunday, Sept. 1 with a 1 p.m. game against Ball State. Other non-conference home games include visits from VCU (Sept. 18), Appalachian State (Sept. 21) and Radford (Oct. 9).
JMU travels to American (Sept. 6), Longwood (Sept. 11), Richmond (Sept. 15), Virginia (Sept. 25), Davidson (Oct. 18) and Wake Forest (Oct. 20) in non-conference play. It also plays a neutral-site game against Columbia in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 8.
Lucas added, “I was disappointed that we couldn’t keep Old Dominion on the schedule as a non-conference game. I believe it is important to play strong out of conference games to assist with preparations for the CAA tournament and NCAA play.”
JMU’s CAA schedule is split into a pair of three-game blocks. Madison’s first three CAA games are on the road with trips to William & Mary (Sept. 29), Towson (Oct. 4) and Delaware (Oct. 6). The Dukes then host the final three games of CAA play, welcoming in Drexel (Oct. 27), Hofstra (Nov. 1) and Northeastern (Nov. 3).
JMU has two scrimmages on its schedule to prepare for 2013. It travels to Durham, N.C., for an exhibition game against Duke on Aug. 18 before hosting Radford on Aug. 24.
The Dukes return 10 players that started at least 10 games in 2012 and an additional four players that appeared in at least nine. Madison returns its top three point scorers in redshirt senior forward Rachel Wein (Perryville, Md./Perryville), redshirt sophomore forward Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md./Pocomoke) and junior midfielder Dana Allaband (Elkton, Md./Rising Sun). That trio combined for 18 of JMU’s 32 goals and 15 of its 28 assists.
The Dukes also return Second Team All-CAA goaltender, sophomore Lena Wimmert (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany/Lise-Meitner Gymnasium). Wimmert ranked third in the nation in save percentage (.811) and was seventh in goals against average (1.27). She led the CAA in both categories.
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