NEWARK, Del., Oct. 26, 2012 – Redshirt freshman forward Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md./Pocomoke) scored on a backhand shot in the first overtime period to lift the James Madison field hockey team to a 3-2 win over Delaware at Rullo Stadium on Friday evening.
JMU finishes its regular season with a 10-7 record overall and a 4-3 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. With the win, it clinches at least the third seed in next week’s CAA Championship and can climb up to the second seed if Drexel loses to Northeastern on Friday night and at Hofstra on Sunday. Delaware finishes its regular season at 8-10 and 3-4 in league play.
West’s game-winning goal came nine minutes, 19 seconds into overtime. She received a pass from senior midfielder Jenna Taylor (Midlothian, Va./James River) on the left side of the scoring area. She turned and fired a backhand shot that beat the Delaware goalie for her team-leading seventh goal of the season and her fifth game-winning tally.
West was one of three players to score goals on the evening for Madison. Senior forward Courtney Versfeld (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe/Dominican Convent) added a goal on a team-high three shots while sophomore back Dana Allaband (Elkton, Md./Rising Sun) set a career-high in points with three, scoring a goal and adding an assist. Taylor tallied three assists for a career-high three-point night.
The Blue Hens were paced by defender Kelsey McKee with a goal on a game-high four shots. Midfielder Clare O’Malley added a goal and forward Toni Popinko recorded an assist.
JMU freshman goalkeeper Lena Wimmert (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany/Lise-Meitner Gymnasium) earned the win to improve to 10-7. She made three saves and allowed two goals in 79 minutes, 19 seconds of game action.
Sarah Scher took the loss for UD to drop to 6-7. She ceded three goals and made five saves.
The Blue Hens outshot the Dukes 12-9 for the game and held a 5-4 edge in penalty corners. Eight of Madison’s nine shots were on goal while only five shots reached net for Delaware, giving UD a 5-3 advantage in saves.
McKee opened the scoring in the game’s 11th minute. She knocked in a rebound after her initial was blocked, giving her a team-best 11 goals on the season.
The score remained in the Blue Hens favor until Versfeld evened the score at 1-1 in the 49th minute on a Madison penalty corner. Taylor inserted the ball to Allaband who stopped it for a Versfeld blast. The senior connected for her third goal of the season and her third tally of the last three games.
JMU took its first lead just under 14 minutes later. Taylor fired a hard shot from the edge of the scoring area that got redirected by Allaband for her second goal of the season.
UD evened the score with 4 minutes, 16 seconds remaining on the clock. Popinko set a pass across the goal mouth that O’Malley tipped into the net. It was her second goal of the season.
Madison got one final shot from Versfeld in the closing minutes of regulation by Scher made the save to force overtime.
The Dukes return to action next week in the CAA Championship. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday evening with the semifinals set for Friday night. The championship game is to be played on Sunday, Nov. 4 at noon.
Notes: JMU improved to 4-1 in overtime games this season … West’s overtime winner was her second game-winning goal in overtime this season. She also recorded the game-winning goal in double overtime against Boston College on Sept. 16.
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