TOWSON, Md., May 7, 2011 -- The 11th-ranked James Madison lacrosse team broke a 6-6 tie with two goals over the span of 52 seconds and held top-seeded Towson scoreless for the final 17:47 to capture its second straight Colonial Athletic Association championship and eighth overall, 8-6, on Saturday at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
JMU improved to 15-3 this season, while the Tigers fell to 11-7 overall. The Dukes earned the league's automatic berth in the 16-team NCAA Championship. The pairings for the NCAA Tournament will be announced on www.NCAA.com at 7:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, May 8, via an HD web stream.
Eight first-round NCAA games will be played Saturday, May 14, or Sunday, May 15.
Senior Mary Kate Lomady (Abington, Pa./Abington) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Performer, and she was joined by senior Diana Apel (Glenwood, Md./Glenelg), junior Cally Chakrian (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) and junior Ariel Lane (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach) on the All-Tournament Team.
"I'm just really proud of the team effort," head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe said. "I thought Towson did an unbelievable job staying in the game, credit to them for making it really tough for us to win this game, but the resilience of this team to fight back and keep their belief that we could get the job done is what I'm most proud of today."
The Dukes led 6-3 at half, but Towson opened the second frame with three straight goals to knot the game at 6-6 with 17:47 to play. Kelly Custer and Kelly Murkey converted on free-position attempts to trim the lead to 6-5 with 19:17 to play, and Jackie LaMonica capitalized on a costly JMU turnover and scored in transition to tie the game.
Three minutes later, junior Caitlin McHugh (Westminster, Md./Mercy) ended JMU's scoring draught which spanned more than 15 minutes with the game-winning goal when she received a pass from junior Annie Brophy (Berwyn, Pa./Archbishop Carroll). Brophy added insurance for the Dukes 52 seconds later when redshirt sophomore Casey Ancarrow (Jarrettsville, Md./John Carroll) found her out front for the score.
Following the goal, Towson managed just three shots, only one of which was on goal, but redshirt sophomore Alisa Konishi (Littleton, Colo./J.K. Mullen) made the save. Konishi replaced redshirt junior Alex Menghetti (Media, Pa./Penncrest) with 14:47 to play and did not concede a score down the stretch.
Lomady and Lane led the Dukes in scoring with two goals each, while Ancarrow tallied one goal and two assists, and junior Monica Zabel (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) had a pair of assists. Chakrian corralled three ground balls and won two draw controls, while causing a game-high three turnovers. Lane also added two draw controls and Brophy and McHugh had two ground balls each.
After LaMonica opened the scoring 2:11 into the contest, the Dukes responded with three straight tallies, to grab a 3-1 lead with 16:57 remaining in the half.
Lomady tied the game on an unassisted score from the right side and she gave JMU the lead with 18:13 to go in the first when she received a pass in front from Zabel and fired into the back of the net. Zabel found Lane 1:16 later for a goal to complete the run.
The Tigers cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal by Rhiannon Coogle from Sarah Appelt, but JMU responded with three of the final four goals in the half. Ancarrow scored her lone goal of the game with 15:10 remaining in the half, and redshirt sophomore Rebecca McLouth (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) took possession at midfield and drove all the way for the score on a bounce shot.
Towson's Jess Dunn recorded her only point of the contest when she scored a goal from an Ashley Waldron pass with 8:50 to go. Chakrian caused a turnover and picked up the ground ball with 4:45 to play in the half, and the Dukes held for the final shot. Ancarrow dished it to Lane in traffic and she fired a shot for a goal with only five seconds remaining to take the 6-3 lead into halftime.
JMU outshot Towson 23-15 in the game, and had a 14-8 advantage on ground balls. Towson converted on all three free-position opportunities and Mary Teeters made a game-high 10 saves for the Tigers.
CAA Women's Lacrosse Championship All-Tournament Team
Katie Blazer, Drexel
Emily Kane, Drexel
Kyrstin Mackrides, William & Mary
Katie Stillwell, William & Mary
Kelly Custer, Towson
Alexa Demski, Towson
Jess Dunn, Towson
Diana Apel, James Madison
Cally Chakrian, James Madison
Ariel Lane, James Madison
Mary Kate Lomady, James Madison
Most Outstanding Performer: Mary Kate Lomady