Dukes start conference play with top-10 win over Florida

Next game:


03/22/2023 | 5 p.m.


March 22 (Wednesday) / 5 p.m.


HARRISONBURG, Va. — Lacrosse No. 7 James Madison defeated his third-ranked opponent in as many weeks and won his first-ever American Athletic Conference game, finishing on a 6-0 run against No. 8 Florida. 2-9 at Sentara Park Saturday afternoon.

The Dukes’ second victory over a top-10 opponent this season took them to 8-1 overall while Florida fell to 5-3 with the loss. JMU are off to their best start in nine games since starting 8-1 in 2018.

Redshirt senior Lizzy Fox scored three goals for her first hat-trick since April 25, 2021, while Isabella Peterson added three for her seventh hat-trick of the season and also had seven draw checks. Junior Katelyn Morgan and rookie Maddie Epke lit up the assist chart with four assists each.

Leading another solid defensive performance, redshirt senior Mairead Durkin caused three turnovers and added two ground balls while schoolmate Rachel Matey offered four ground balls to go with two draw checks on the day. The Dukes held the Gators scoreless for the game’s final 9:30 p.m.

For the Gators, Emma LoPinto scored four goals on seven shots while Danielle Pavinelli scored twice.

First quarter – Florida 3, James Madison 2
Rookie Brianna Mennella struck first, the eighth time this season JMU has scored first in a game. From there, LoPinto and Pavinelli each scored game-breaking goals to give the Gators the first-quarter advantage.

Second Quarter – James Madison 7, Florida 7
A pair of JMU goals put the Dukes back in the lead at 11:56, but Florida scored four in 3:50 to take a 7-4 lead. The Dukes responded with three goals from three different sticks in 1:49 to tie the game. There were five penalties combined during the period, three by Florida and two by JMU, with all five leading to women’s goals by the opposition.

Third Quarter – James Madison 10, Florida 9
The Gators took a pair of one-goal leads, but tallies from Maggie Clark and Taylor Marchetti propelled the Dukes into the lead with a quarter to play. The Dukes got eight ground balls during the period.

Fourth Quarter – James Madison 14, Florida 9
After a scoreless 8:57, four different Dukes closed the game in 5:34. The Dukes allowed Florida just three shots the entire quarter.


The Dukes have beaten multiple top-10 opponents in a season for the first time since 2018. Saturday’s win marks JMU’s seventh straight victory in a conference opener, a streak that dates back to 2016. JMU led the clock shooting 30-22, out-shooting Florida in every quarter on the day. Florida’s fourth scoreless quarter was the third straight time the defense did not allow a goal in the final period. There were seven ties and four lead changes in the match. Fox became the fourth Duke to score a hat trick this season. FOLLOWING
The Dukes play another ranked home game on Wednesday, March 22, taking on No. 10 Virginia in Harrisonburg at 5 p.m. JMU will return to the league on Saturday March 25 at Temple at noon. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.


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