HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 20, 2011 – With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the James Madison field hockey team embarks on a key two-game road trip this weekend as it travels to No. 1 Old Dominion and William & Mary for a pair of Colonial Athletic Association games.
JMU currently sits tied for fifth in the nine-team CAA with the top six teams advancing to the conference championship in two weeks. The Dukes are tied with Towson at 2-3 in the league with Delaware (1-3) trailing by half a game and William and Mary (1-4) and VCU (1-4) a full game back. Northeastern and Drexel are tied for third at 3-2 while Hofstra (4-1) trails first-place ODU (5-0) by one game.
Madison holds the tie breaker over Towson and VCU due to head-to-head wins against each of them. Northeastern, Drexel and Hofstra secured the advantage over JMU due to wins earlier in the season.
Last weekend, the Dukes took a break from conference play as they traveled to Longwood and hosted No. 2 North Carolina. They picked up their first road win of the season on Thursday, taking down Longwood 1-0 in overtime. It was JMU’s sixth overtime game of the season, tying for the third-most in school history. JMU played eight overtime games in 1994, including going to penalty strokes in the National Championship game against North Carolina. It also went to extra time seven times in 1989 and six time each in 2001 and 1979.
The Dukes closed the week against the No. 2 team in the Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll. They went into halftime tied 0-0 with the Tar Heels, but ceded the game-winning goal in the game’s 45th minute on their way to falling 3-0.
Freshman midfielder Ysaline Nobels (Dion-Valmont, Belgium/College du Christ-Roi) tallied the game-winning goal against Longwood. It was her second goal of the season with both coming in overtime. Freshman forward Taylor Bailey (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford) led all players with five shots while redshirt sophomore forward Courtney Versfeld (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe/Dominican Convent) registered three shots on goal.
Defensively, sophomore back Amy Goldstein (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) picked up JMU’s first defensive save of the season against North Carolina. Senior goalkeeper Margo Savage (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) made 10 saves in two starts and recorded her second shutout of the season while posting a 1-1 record.
The Monarchs are 15-1 on the season and 5-0 in CAA play. Last weekend, they split a pair of decisions against top-ten teams. On Friday, ODU downed No. 3 Maryland on the road 5-2 before picking up its first loss of the season, falling 2-1 at home to No. 7 Duke in overtime.
Senior Emma Bratton leads the team offensively with 17 goals and three assists for 37 points. The transfer from England adds a team-high 44 shots and 36 shots on goal. Junior Maartje van Rijswijk is second on the team with 18 points, scoring six goals and six assists.
Defensively, Devon Seifert has played every minute in net for the Monarchs. She is 15-1 with six shutouts and a 1.18 goals against average. She has posted a .667 save percentage while making 30 saves. Junior Julie Hodge is tops on the team with three defensive saves.
Beth Anders is in her 29th season as the head coach for Old Dominion. She has gone 539-128-7 in her time in Norfolk, and was the first Division I coach to reach the 500-win plateau.
After opening the season by winning six of its first seven games, the Tribe has lost seven straight to drop to 6-8 on the season and 1-4 in the CAA. Last weekend they dropped a pair of decisions to ACC foes at home, losing 3-0 to Duke and 4-3 in a shootout to Virginia.
Redshirt junior Leah Zamesnik and freshman Emma Clifton are tied for the team lead with 13 points. Zamesnik leads the team with six goals while Clifton has four goals and a team-high five assists. Two of redshirt freshman Jesse Ebner’s four goals are game-winning goals.
Redshirt senior Camilla Hill has drawn the start in net in every game this season for the Tribe. She is 6-8 with a 2.15 goals against average. She has made 73 saves for a .716 save percentage. Junior Christine Johnson leads the team with three defensive saves.
Peel Hawthorne is in her 26th season as the William & Mary head coach and her 30th season overall. She is 265-222-2 in her time in Williamsburg and 296-239-6 overall.
JMU and Old Dominion have played 58 games in their all-time series, with the Monarchs holding a 48-10 lead. ODU has won two straight in the series, including a 4-1 win in Norfolk a year ago. JMU is just 4-19 in games played at ODU.
In 56 all-time meetings against William & Mary, the Dukes are 32-18-6, including having won five of the last six. Last season, the Tribe snapped a five-game losing streak to JMU, winning 2-1 in Williamsburg. The Dukes are11-8-3 all-time on the road in the series.
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