Sept. 28, 2009

Courtesy of Delaware

HARRISONBURG, Va., Sept. 27, 2009 – Delaware pulled ahead to a 2-1 halftime lead and held on to defeat James Madison 2-1 in a Colonial Athletic Association field hockey match on Sunday afternoon at the JMU Field Hockey Complex.

JMU, ranked 14th in the Kookaburra/National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, fell to 5-4 on the season and 1-1 in the CAA.  UD, which is receiving votes in the poll, improved to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the league.

The loss for JMU snapped a string of 16 consecutive victories over CAA opponents dating back to the 2007 season.  The Dukes had won four in a row against the Blue Hens.

JMU notched the opening goal of the match in the 11th minute before Delaware responded with a pair of tallies over the next six minutes.  The Dukes held the Blue Hens without a shot in the second half but could not convert on five opportunities in the final nine minutes.

JMU led in shots 9-8 for the match and 11-2 in corners, including 9-0 in the second half with eight corners in the last 13 minutes.  The Blue Hens repeatedly used their speed out of the cage to break up several JMU corners before getting off a shot.

JMU senior goalkeeper Kelsey Cutchins (Suffolk, Va./Lakeland) and Delaware’s Noelle Diana each had three saves in goal.

JMU struck first 11 minutes into the contest as junior Dolores de Rooij (Vlaardingen, The Netherlands/Erasmiaans) fielded a pass just shy of midfield.  She drove through a pair of defenders and into the circle.  De Rooij cut left and fired a hard back-hander into the right side of the net.

However, the JMU lead did not last long as Delaware retaliated just two minutes later.  The Blue Hens pushed the ball into the left corner of the circle.  Tori Karsten found Alexis Esbitt open at the left post for the tying score.

Delaware stayed on the offensive and struck again in the 17th minute.  Kimmy Schlezes drove along the right end line and passed across the cage to Casey Howard, who was able to deflect it in at the left post.

JMU will be home again on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. contest against Radford.