HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 28, 2011 – Freshman midfielder Ysaline Nobels (Dion-Valmont, Belgium/College du Christ-Roi) scored her fourth game-winning goal of the season and senior goalkeeper Margo Savage (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) recorded her seventh career shutout as the James Madison field hockey team defeated Delaware 1-0 at the JMU Field Hockey Complex on Friday night.
Courtesy of the win, the Dukes clinched a berth in next weekend’s Colonial Athletic Association Championships and improved their record to 8-9 overall and 4-4 in CAA play. Delaware had its two-game winning streak snapped to fall to 8-10 and 3-4 in league play.
Nobels goal was her fourth of the season, with all of them coming as game-winning goals. She added two shots with one reaching net. Freshman midfielder Dana Allaband (Elkton, Md./Rising Sun) contributed her team-leading fifth assist of the year while also leading the team with three shots. Redshirt sophomore forward Courtney Versfeld (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe/Dominican Convent) was the only other player with more than one shot, registering two.
Tory Sharpless paced the Blue Hen offense with four shots, including two on net. Nicole Onorato and Kelsey Mckee each added three shots and two shots on net while Clare O’Malley, Kasey Prettyman and Toni Popinko had one shot each.
Savage made seven saves in 70 minutes of action for her third shutout of the year. She improved to 7-8 on the year while lowering her goals against average to 2.09. Freshman back Rachel Palumbo (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) chipped in a defensive save, giving her a team-leading two this season.
Noelle Diana drew the start in net for Delaware. She allowed one goal and made four saves to drop to 8-10 on the year.
The Blue Hens outshot the Dukes 13-10 and held a 4-3 advantage in penalty corners. Madison made eight saves to Delaware’s four.
The game’s lone goal came on a penalty corner in the 57th minute. Allaband found an open Nobels who drove it beyond Diana and into the back of the net.
JMU is back in action on Thursday, Nov. 3 in Norfolk, Va., as it plays in the opening round of the CAA Championships. The Dukes will have to wait until the completion of Sunday’s games to know what seed they are and who their opponent will be.
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