Mission Accomplished: JMU Wins National Title
Jennifer Perry had three goals in the championship game and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Midfielder.
© Cecil Copeland
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – James Madison Club begin the season with a clear vision – make it to nationals. They did that and one better, beating Utah 19-11 to win the US Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Associates Division II National Championship, presented by Harrow Sports.
“We had our goal from the beginning of the season – it was nationals, nationals, nationals,” said player/coach Shannon Wheeler. “Every time we weren’t playing well, we’d say think of nationals.”
JMU, playing in the national tournament for the first time ever, became the second straight team from the Mid Atlantic Women’s Lacrosse League (North Carolina Club last year year) to win the national championship. Four of the eight teams in the draw were from the MAWLL, and the Dukes barely escaped with a 14-13 win over one of them, Loyola (Md.) Club in Friday’s semifinals.
No such dramatics were needed on Saturday. JMU scored two goals in the opening minute, led 7-2 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half and led 9-5 at the half. Utah made a mini run to cut it to 10-7 early in the second half, but JMU had an answer for every charge by the Utes.
Catherine Flood led JMU with four goals, but she got plenty of
help from Julia Joo and Jennifer Perry with three goals each. Joo,
the hero of the semifinal win over Loyola, was named the
outstanding attack player in the tournament and Perry earned the
award for midfield.
JMU goalie Lindsey Davis was very solid with nine saves for the Dukes, and Christie Moyer was a solid dual threat for the Dukes. Moyer scored twice and also marked Utah’s Amtahcha Award winner Laura Hunter for much of the game. Hunter scored Utah’s first two goals, but only scored once more and that came when Moyer was on the sideline for a breather.
Hunter led Utah with three goals and an assist and Hannah Rodgers (3g), Haley Poulson (2g, 2a) and Taylor Dunn (2g) also had strong games.
“We’ve been working on this for two years now,” said Wheeler. “We finally made it here and we’re so excited. Winning is just the icing on the cake.”
Recaps of the consolation games follow:
Duke Club 16, Loyola (Md.) Club 9: Molly Burnett made 12 saves for Loyola, but Duke had too much firepower on offense. Melissa Frio scored six goals for the Blue Devils, five of them in the first half, and Meghan McAneny and Melanie Sperling each added three goals. Jourdan Brown, Gabrielle Costabile and Allison Rose all had two goals for Loyola.
North Carolina Club 11, Oakland 9 (OT): Hannah Single and Claire Scott each scored goals in the first overtime period to lift the Tar Heels to the win – overcoming a big 17-save effort by Oakland goalie Lauren Pattah. Scott and Jackie Nesi led North Carolina with three goals each. Oakland was paced by Desiree Messina with four goals and an assist, and Brianna Johnson with three goals.
Minnesota-Duluth 9, Santa Barbara City College 5: Nora Vee made 12 saves to lead a strong defensive effort as the Bulldogs claimed seventh place. Minnesota-Duluth held Santa Barbara City College scoreless for the final 14 plus minutes of the game, and Vee made seven of her saves in the second half. Kaitlyn Leininger led UMD with three goals and Kelly Crampton had two goals and an assist. Megan McCullough scored three times for SBCC and Briki Cajandig made 10 saves.
Championship Game – James Madison Club 19, Utah 11
3rd place game – Duke Club 16, Loyola (Md.) Club 9
5th place game – North Carolina Club 11, Oakland 9 (OT)
7th place game – Minnesota-Duluth 9, Santa Barbara City College 5
Mary Morgan Bitler, North Carolina Club
Briki Cajandig, Santa Barbara City College
Katherine Cola, Loyola (Md.) Club
Melissa Frio, Duke Club
Julia Joo, James Madison Club
Haley Juhl, Utah
Megan McAneny, Duke Club
Christie Moyer, James Madison Club
Katie O’Neill, Utah
Lauren Pattah, Oakland
Jennifer Perry, James Madison Club
Haley Poulson, Utah
Malia Stephens, Duke Club
Kate Strassman, Minnesota-Duluth
Most Outstanding Players
Attack: Julia Joo, James Madison Club
Midfield: Jennifer Perry, James Madison Club
Defense: Haley Juhl, Utah
Goalie: Lauren Pattah, Oakland
Keeper of Lacrosse Award (sportsmanship): Santa Barbara City College
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