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Courtesy: CAA
JMU's Meghan Cox and Hofstra's Chole Dale. Photo by Bryan Murphy

JMU Tops Hofstra 3-1 In CAA Women's Soccer Semis

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 11/08/2013
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (November 8, 2013) – Top-seeded James Madison scored a pair of second-half goals and defeated #4 Hofstra 3-1 in the semifinals of the CAA Women’s Soccer Championship at JMU’s University Park.

The Dukes (15-4-1), who are 12-1-1 over their last 14 matches, will face #3 Northeastern at 1 p.m. on Sunday for the conference title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. It will be the Dukes’ first appearance in the finals since capturing their third CAA championship in 2010.

JMU struck quickly, taking a 1-0 lead just 1:37 into the match. Freshman Ashley Herndon found junior forward Katie Hyland with a pass at the top of the box. Hyland created space with a couple of dribbles to the right and fired a shot inside the left post for her team-leading eighth goal of the season.

Hofstra (10-6-3) got the equalizer in the 23rd minute after Sam Scolarici was taken down in the box. The junior was awarded a penalty kick, which she drilled into the left side of the net for her CAA-best 18th goal of the year. The 18 goals set a new Hofstra single-season record.

Both teams had other scoring chances late in the first half, but were denied on nice saves by the keepers. Pride freshman Friederike Mehring made a diving stop of an Elissa Halik header from close range with 15:42 to go in the period. With 3:30 left until the break, Hofstra’s Lulu Echeverry made a long run down the middle of the field but the Dukes’ Ellen Forrest charged out and smothered a shot attempt.

JMU regained the lead in the 64th minute. Senior Lauren Wilson fed a pass to junior Sam Lofton outside of the box on the left side. Lofton lofted a left-footed shot from 21 yards out that banked high off the right post and into the net. It was her second goal of the season.

The Dukes tacked on an insurance goal on a beautiful play in the 79th minute. Senior Becky Sparks, the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, sent a 30-yard cross from the left side into the middle of the box, where freshman Allie Bunner was there to head it into the net. The goal was the second of the year for Bunner while Sparks was credited with her team-leading seventh assist.

Hofstra, which won the CAA championship in 2012, finished with a 16-14 advantage in shots. Forrest made five saves, including a diving stop of a Jeannine Molleda shot when the match was tied at 1-1 with 31 minutes remaining. Mehring also turned away five shots for the Pride.