May 13 / Todd

Dukes Lacrosse Takes Out the Hoos, Advances to Elite 8

E!!!!!

Well THAT was a satisfying Dukes victory wouldn’t you say? For the second time this year, the Dukes downed their “rivals” from over Afton Mountain in Lacrosse, this time 15-12 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse tourney. Both teams battled the first real heat of the season with gametime temps at Sentara Park north of 90, but the Dukes rode a late 5-0 run to close the first half and played a smart, ruthless second half to arguable the biggest victory in JMU lacrosse history. With the win, the third-seeded Dukes advance to host the Florida Gators next week in what is almost certainly the biggest home game in program history (the ’00 squad hosted and defeated UVa to advance to the program’s only other Final Four but it just feels bigger this time with JMU Nation fully plugged in – love you ’00 squad from our era though!). The Gators held off a spirited Colorado squad to earn a trip to the Valley next weekend with a Final Four berth on the line. Next week’s game at JMU will be Saturday at 1 p.m. and tickets are on sale over at jmusports.com later tonight.

This game was a battle against two opponents, the Cavaliers and the heat. Both teams clearly slowed a tight game down a bit on the roasting field in the second half, but senior JMU badasses Hayley Warden and Elena “E” Romesburg went full Indiana Jones in ripping out the hearts of the hated Wahoos when twice in the second half UVa closed to within one and both times JMU responded with mini-runs to get some separation when they needed it most. Defender Emma Johnson also appeared at opportune times to help the Dukes slow down the Virginia offense. But much of the credit in this victory goes to all the offseason work the players put in with the help of the JMU strength and conditioning staff to be ready to outlast the Cavs on the hottest day of the season (thus far) in the ‘Burg. As always, Kristen Gaudian did Gaudian-National-Player-Of-the-Year type things and Katie Kerrigan seemed to assist on every threatening JMU offensive set.

One quick side-note: As always it was great to hear the sweet stylings of the one and only Curt Dudley on the all even if he had to carry the broadcast. Hope we get Curt next week but we’re certainly not clued in to what stage of the tourney gets the full ESPN3 treatment and of course we’re not opposed to FCS and lax guru Anish Shroff at any point.

Here’s hoping lots of Dukes can pack out the still newish facility on Port Republic to aid and abet JMU in seeking not only a Final Four berth, but a continuation of a quest for a title that is now very much in sight and realistic!

 

One Comment

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  1. OBXDuke1983 / May 14 2018

    Great win! Can’t wait to see the ladies go up against the gators a move on to NY for the final 4.
    Unfortunately i did not see yesterday’s contest. I tried but could not get the feed to work. So, i followed along by watching the live updates on the ncaa brackets. Hope that is not the case this week.
    Go Dukes!

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