HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 27, 2011 – With just one game remaining in its 2011 regular season, the James Madison field hockey team is scheduled to celebrate senior day by welcoming Delaware to the JMU Field Hockey Complex for a 7 p.m. game on Friday.
The Dukes are coming off a split of a pair of Colonial Athletic Association road games last weekend, dropping a decision at No. 1 Old Dominion before responding with a 3-1 win over William & Mary. The three goals against the Tribe were the most for the Dukes since scoring three against Drexel on Sept. 23. Freshman midfielder Ysaline Nobels (Dion-Valmont, Belgium/College du Christ-Roi) paced the offense with a goal and two assists while junior midfielder Jenna Taylor (Midlothian, Va./James River) added a goal and an assist. Senior back Lindsay Cutchins (Suffolk, Va./Lakeland) and freshman forward Bethany Ashworth (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) scored once each and freshman midfielder Dana Allaband (Elkton, Md./Rising Sun) contributed two assists.
Senior goalkeeper Margo Savage (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) made four saves while playing 107 minutes, 11 seconds in net to go 1-1 for the weekend. Sophomore Stephanie Tarafas (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond River) subbed in for 32 minutes, 49 seconds and made three saves. Freshman back Rachel Palumbo (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) added her first career defensive save against Old Dominion.
The win over William & Mary made the Tribe the first team to be eliminated from next weekend’s CAA Championship. ODU has already clinched the No. 1 seed and will host the tournament, beginning Thursday, Nov. 3. The remaining five spots are still up for grabs amongst the seven remaining teams. No. 14 Northeastern and Hofstra are in the best position at 4-2 overall, followed by Drexel and Delaware both at 3-3. JMU currently sits in sixth at 3-4 with Towson (2-4) and VCU (2-5) close behind.
The Dukes can clinch a spot in the tournament with a win over the Blue Hens on Friday. If Delaware were to pick up the win, Madison would earn a spot in the CAA Championships with a Towson loss to either Northeastern or Hofstra.
Friday night will also be senior night for a pair of fourth-year Dukes playing their final regular season game at the JMU Field Hockey Complex.
Cutchins is a three-year starter for the Dukes and has appeared in 69 games, starting 55. She has collected 13 goals and 19 assists for 45 career points and is the team’s active leader in all three categories. As a junior, she led the team with a career-high 12 assists and as a sophomore she was a Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Second Team All-State selection while also collecting National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Academic Squad, JMU Dean’s List and JMU Athletic Director Scholar-Athlete honors.
Savage is in her second year as the team’s primary goalkeeper, appearing in 33 games and starting 30 of them. She has compiled 15 wins, six shutouts, 159 saves, a 1.81 goals against average and a .743 save percentage. She ranks ninth in program history in goals against average and 10th in save percentage. Savage is a two-time JMU Athletic Director Scholar-Athlete and a CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.
The Blue Hens went 2-0 last weekend, earning wins over Drexel and Towson to get to 8-9 overall and 3-3 in the CAA. They are 2-3 in road games and 0-2 in conference road games. Their last road win game on Sept. 24 at St. Joseph’s.
Freshman Kelsey McKee leads the team with nine goals and 22 points. Three of her goals have been game-winning goals and she is a perfect 3-for-3 in penalty stroke attempts this season. Sophomore Casey Prettyman is second on the squad with six goals and 14 points while junior Carly Hecht and Kayla Schweitzer are tied for a team-best seven assists.
Noelle Diana has started all 17 games in goal for Delaware. She is 8-9 with two shutouts and a 2.97 goals against average. Diana has allowed 48 goals and turned aside 111 shots for a .698 save percentage. Sophomore Heather Hartman and freshman Hannah Pepper have each registered one defensive save to lead the team.
Head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof is in his first season as the Blue Hen head coach after being hired from Michigan State in December, 2010.He is just the sixth head coach in program history. In six seasons as a head coach he has compiled a 82-43 overall record.
JMU and Delaware have met 11 times dating back to 1999. The Dukes hold a slim 6-5 advantage in the overall series, including a 7-1 victory at Delaware a year ago. Madison is just 2-3 all-time against UD in Harrisonburg.
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