May 7 / Rob

Two Championships Down, One to Go for JMU Lacrosse

Coach Shelley and the Dukes followed up a perfect 6-0 CAA season, with a pair of victories in the CAA tourney. Sunday’s 6-10 win in the finals over Towson gave the Dukes the CAA Tournament Championship for the second year in a row. With a CAA regular season championship in the books, that means JMU only has one more title to claim for 2018. The big one. And it’s definitely within reach.

Compared to last weekend’s 16-15 nail-biter over Towson on the road, the CAA title game was a bit of a breeze. Yes, Towson played well and hung tough all day. But the game was never really in doubt. The Dukes entered the tournament with a big ol’ target on their backs, but it didn’t really matter. They destroyed Delaware 17-5 in what looked to be nothing more than a tune up for the big rematch with Towson. The Tigers are a talented squad that can make some noise in the dance, but they were no match for the Dukes today. This Dukes team was all business and it showed. Plenty of folks were picking Towson to avenge last weekend’s loss and upset JMU for the title. Those folks were wrong. Very, very wrong.

Kristen Gaudian followed up a 5 goal game in the semis, with another 5 goal performance in the final. It was a fitting performance for the CAA’s Player of the Year. Elena Romesberg was also quite effective with 4 goals, 5 ground balls, and 3 draw controls. Last year’s CAA Player of the Year, Haley Warden had the type of game that coaches drool over. The senior stepped up and did everything her team needed her to against Towson, causing a team leading 4 turnovers and winning 7 draw controls. She also found the back of the net once. Her efforts resulted in her winning the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer award for the second straight year. She also picked up this year’s CAA Defensive Player of they Year, so she’s got some hardware.

Now the Dukes will attempt to win their third championship of the year. And they’ll do so as the #3 overall seed. The NCAA bracket was revealed last night and JMU was given the right to host the winner of Stanford vs. UVA. The committee rewarded JMU’s strength of schedule and had a more favorable view of the Dukes than the pollsters did. Despite losing in the CAA championship, Towson also earned a seed. There are plenty of great teams, but JMU has already shown it can beat practically anyone. It should be a great tourney. Especially because our Dukes have a real chance to win the whole damn thing.

One Comment

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  1. OBXDuke1983 / May 7 2018

    Wow. The number 3 seed overall. How cool is that. Well deserved.
    Wouldn’t a rematch with Maryland for the national championship be awesome?

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