Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/25/18
From Press Release
With three players recording hat tricks, led by senior midfielder Garnet Valley alum Haley Warden’s five goals (and 10 draw controls), third-seeded James Madison advanced to its first national championship game with a 15-12 victory against second-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship semifinals on Friday evening at LaValle Stadium.
The Dukes improved to 21-1 on the year in front of 7,524 fans, while the Tar Heels ended their season at 17-4. It marked JMU’s second win of the year against UNC and the fifth against a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, improving to 5-0. It was also the 200th career win for Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe and her 150th at JMU.
JMU becomes the second team in Colonial Athletic Association team to reach the national championship game, joining Loyola’s 1997 squad.
JMU will face fourth-seeded Boston College on Sunday in the national championship game, which will air at noon on ESPNU. BC defeated top-seeded Maryland 15-13 in the second semifinal. It will be the fourth meeting all-time between the teams and the first since 1993.
Warden led all players with five goals on six shots and turned in a career-high 10 draw controls. Both senior attacker Kristen Gaudian and junior attacker Hanna Haven had three goals and one assist, and senior attacker Katie Kerrigan scored a goal with a team-best three assists.
Between the pipes, redshirt freshman Molly Dougherty improved to 13-0 on the year after making nine saves with a pair of ground balls. Junior defender Caroline Sdanowich caused two turnovers, and sophomore defender Emma Johnson matched UNC’s team total with a game-high four ground balls.
Elena Romesburg (Central Bycks West) had three draw controls and a caused turnover for JMU.
JMU stormed out of the gates, netting the game’s first three goals to take the early lead just under eight minutes in. UNC scored four of the next six to trim the JMU lead to 5-4 before the Dukes closed the final 4:31 of the first half with a 3-0 run to snag an 8-4 advantage at the break. Warden scored twice down the stretch, including the half’s final tally with 51 seconds left.
Leading 9-6, Gaudian found the net with her first two scores on back-to-back free-position goals separated by just 42 seconds to give JMU an 11-6 lead with 22 minutes to play. UNC made it a 13-9 game after a man-up goal with 7:41 to go, but Haven took a pass from Gaudian and scored her hat trick with 5:52 to go to push the lead back to five.
Though most team stats were balanced for both teams, the Dukes dominated in 50-50 balls, holding a 15-4 ground balls advantage, marking the first time JMU held an opponent to under 10 this season. They also won the draw-control battle 15-14, behind a 10-6 lead in the second half.
UNC was paced by Jamie Ortega, who had four goals and one assist. Kara Klages scored three goals, and Marie McCool (Moorestown) finished her career with a two-goal, four-assist, 10-draw outing.
McCool and Warden were Phillylacrosse.com Co-Players of the Year in 2014.
Advanced to first national championship in program history, improving to 1-1 in national semifinal games
13th straight victory for the Dukes
JMU now 5-0 against ACC opponents this season (two over UNC, two over Virginia, one over Virginia Tech)
It was the second-straight game of JMU holding an opponent without a goal for the first five minutes
Four 40-goal scorers for the first time in program history with Warden’s third goal of the game
It was only the third time this season that Kristen Gaudian has not scored in the first half (Other times were versus UC Davis and versus Towson)
JMU is now 20-0 when leading at halftime and 17-1 when scoring first, 18-1 when leading in ground balls
It was the 17th time this season that JMU has held opponents to 5 or less goals in the first half
JMU’s 15 goals matched the most for the Dukes in NCAA tournament history for the third time
Won all three games this postseason by three goals
Third-straight win against ACC opponent in NCAA tournament
Gaudian is four goals away from tying the JMU single-season record – currently has 77
Haley Warden surpassed 100 draw controls this season with 10 against UNC – she has 105