William and Mary headed into its Colonial Athletic Association opener with James Madison brimming with confidence, having won three straight games and owning an impressive 6-4 non-conference record. The Tribe was brought back down to earth by the defending CAA champions on Saturday, falling behind 12-0 in the first half before ultimately losing 17-4 on the road.
JMU (5-7, 1-0 CAA) found the back of the net early and often, building a 6-0 lead after just 10 minutes of play. Senior goalkeeper Meredith Crizer got the start for the College (6-5, 0-1 CAA), but was replaced by freshman Claire Duchene at 23:14 after allowing five quick goals. Duchene didn’t last much longer than Crizer, brought back to the bench at 14:46 with the Dukes ahead 9-0. Junior goalie Alex Lista stepped in between the posts and fared better than the other two, giving up just two goals, but was substituted out with 1:30 left in the half. Crizer stayed in the net for the remainder of the match. The three Tribe shot-stoppers combined to make just one save in the half, with Crizer adding two more in the second.
Offensive opportunities were few and far between for the College in the first half, with the Tribe taking only five shots compared to JMU’s 16. While the Tribe bested the Dukes in draw controls and free position shots, a bevy of turnovers along with the strong performance of James Madison goalkeeper Ellie Harmeyer kept the College scoreless. Freshman attack Eloise Gagnon came closest to beating Harmeyer and putting the Tribe on the board at the 8:36 mark, but the post denied her free position attempt.
The College’s deficit stood at 12 after JMU attack Cristina McCarthy scored to beat the halftime whistle by a second. The Tribe had committed its 10th turnover of the half 15 seconds earlier, presenting the Dukes with yet another opportunity. JMU’s lead blossomed to 14 in the beginning of the second half, JMU attack Betsy Angel tallying two of her game-high four goals at 25:58 and 24:27, respectively.
With the win almost certainly locked up, the Dukes put Harmeyer on the bench for the second half, replacing her with backup Emily Poelma. Perhaps as a result of the change, the Tribe’s offense began to find success, finally scoring with just over 18 minutes to go. Gagnon ended the scoreless run with a strike from free position, her seventh goal of the season.
JMU midfielder Elena Romesburg answered Gagnon’s goal with three of her own over the next seven minutes, pushing the Dukes’ lead to 17-1. JMU took only one more shot the rest of the way as the Tribe found the net three times in the final five minutes of the match. Junior midfielder and leading goal-scorer Shannon Quinn claimed two of the goals, finding the mark from free position at 4:44 then converting on a pass from junior midfielder MC Curran at 2:53.
Junior defender Abby Junior’s late free position goal gave the game its final score 17-4, the College unable to duplicate the success it found in recent weeks. The Dukes outshot the Tribe 24-9, turning the ball over seven times compared to the Tribe’s 16 giveaways. The College will need to cut down on its turnovers if it wants to compete in the CAA, a conference it has never won.
The Tribe returns to action this Saturday, hosting Hofstra at Martin Family Stadium. The game is set to start at 6 p.m.