TOWSON, Md., May 5, 2011 - Junior Ariel Lane (Vero Beach , Fla./Vero Beach) scored a game-high four goals and redshirt sophomore Alisa Konishi (Littleton, Colo./J.K. Mullen) made four saves in relief in the final 14:19 to lead second-seeded James Madison to an 11-9 win against third-seeded William and Mary in the second semifinal of the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Women's Lacrosse Championship on Thursday at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The Dukes, ranked 11th in the nation, advanced to their second straight title game and improved to 14-3 this season, while the Tribe ended their season at 10-7. JMU will face top-seeded Towson (11-6) on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the championship game. The winner will receive the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
"For us to be able to come together as a team and fight the way we did, I'm just so proud of the girls," head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe said.
"I'm happy I can step up when they need me," Lane said. "As an offensive unit, we are a team, so every time they have my back, I always want to have their backs. It's very exciting and I can't thank my team enough. We're all on the same page, we all know what we had to do and we executed it."
Junior Mary Kate Lomady (Abington, Pa./Abington) helped the Dukes jump out to an early 3-1 lead with a goal and two assists in the opening 6:01. Lomady scored 2:09 in on a bouncer to open the scoring and she fed the ball to junior Monica Zabel (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) who scored with 25:50 remaining in the first to give JMU a 2-0 advantage.
After Kyrstin Mackrides scored on a free-position shot one minute later to trim the lead in half, Lomady found junior Caitlin McHugh (Westminster, Md./Mercy), who buried it in the back of the net.
With the Dukes ahead 3-2, Lane scored the next two goals over the span of 1:12 to give JMU its largest lead of the half at 5-2 with 10:07 to go.
The Tribe answered in a hurry with three straight, including two from Ashley Holofcener, over 1:04 to knot the game at 5-5 with 6:34 to go. Holofcener corralled the ball off her own miss and was able to score with 7:38 to go. The Tribe won the draw, and 21 seconds later, Mackrides scored on a free position. Holofcener completed the run with another tally after W&M won the draw and drove down the field.
Zabel ended the half with the go-ahead goal with one minute to go after using some nice footwork to come from behind the net and out in front of the goal all alone.
Taelor Salmon opened the second frame with a goal 58 seconds in to tie the game at 6-6, and William and Mary scored the apparent go-ahead goal with 28:26 to go, but the officials called a turnover due to a Tribe player being in the crease that wiped out the goal. JMU assumed possession and responded with a 4-0 run to open up a 10-6 lead.
Lane struck with a free-position goal to give the lead back to JMU for good with 26:46 to go and McHugh used a spin move in front of the goal after receiving the pass from junior Annie Brophy (Berwyn, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) to double the lead to 8-6. Nearly six minutes later, Brophy found redshirt sophomore Casey Ancarrow (Jarrettsville, Md./John Carroll) for her first goal of the game, and Lomady completed the run with a free-position tally for the largest lead of the contest.
William and Mary came back with two scores of their own by Grace Golden and Mackrides to cut the lead in half at 10-8 with 14:19 to play, and JMU made a change at the goalkeeper position, bringing in Konishi off the bench.
Konishi faced five shots, allowing just one goal while making four saves to close out the game and help the Dukes advance to the championship game.
"She's a hard worker, she's probably one of our most disciplined players on the team," Klaes-Bawcombe said. "She goes in and has weekly meetings with our sports psychologist, she does all the work, all the preparation so when she does get the nod, she's ready. She was so excited to make a difference and that's what you need in a back-up goalie."
Both teams were nearly even in each statistical category. The Tribe held a 22-21 advantage on shots, and a an 11-10 lead on the draw controls, but the Dukes led 10-9 on ground balls. W&M also converted on three-of-four free-position opportunities and JMU was two-of-three.
Individually, senior Diana Apel (Glenwood, Md./Glenelg) led the Dukes with three draw controls and two ground balls, while Lane and sophomore Amanda Mathews (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) each had two draws. McHugh also added pair of ground balls and caused turnovers.