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Tigers fall to JMU with CAA title on the line

By: Myles Nelson

Alyssa Ferro recorded her first career hat trick.

Alyssa Ferro recorded her first career hat trick.

This was a game of runs. James Madison happened to go on their last run late in regulation. In a game with lots of ties and lead changes, it could’ve gone either way, but that final run was the difference. In the end it was an 11-9 loss for the Towson Tigers women’s lacrosse team.

“We’ve got to limit our mistakes. We had some uncharacteristic mistakes, uncontested errors, stick work, some things like that, that you can’t afford to have against a team like JMU. So we’ve got to clean that up, that’s one of the most glaring things right now,” head coach Sonia LaMonica said.

The first goal of the game came on a free position shot by Emily Gillingham, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead. James Madison tied it up after a failed clear attempt. The Towson turnover was caused by Taylor Gress. Brooks Lawler scooped up the groundball and got the goal. After that, Towson scored consecutive goals putting them back up by two. Both goals came from Alyssa Ferro. One was assisted by Gillingham, and the other by Natalie Sulmonte. James Madison would return the favor scoring consecutive goals of their own to even things back up at three. With 16:55 left in the first half, it was Kristen Gaudian’s goal that gave James Madison the lead.

The back and forth continued as Towson would score consecutive goals again. Kaitlyn Montalbano tied it up for Towson, with an assist from Samantha Brookhart. About 30 seconds later, Michelle Gildea gave Towson the lead. Once again, James Madison would strike twice. Betsy Angel’s assist to Taylor Gress tied it for James Madison, before Jaci Gordon gave the Dukes the lead again. Ferro’s third goal of the game tied it up again. It was her first hat trick of the season. About three minutes later, the Dukes were up again, thanks to another unassisted goal from Gordon.

With 25:59 left in regulation, Sulmonte tied it up for the tigers with her first goal of the day. Moments later Brookhart came from behind the goal to score and give the Tigers the lead again. The Tigers held that lead for about six minutes before Gress scored again for the Dukes.

Fouls on Tianna Wallpher and Emily Roth led to a free position shot for James Madison. Angel hit the shot with 12:31 left in regulation. Katie Kerrigan’s first goal of the season gave the Dukes a two point lead. Just 20 seconds later, Montalbano scored for the Tigers, following Sulmonte winning the draw. Gordon’s third goal of the day with 5:14 left in regulation would be the nail in the coffin. It was the final goal of regulation, securing the win for the Dukes. It was an efficient 11 points on 19 shots for the Dukes offense.

“I think defense actually played pretty well. We definitely had our times and slips up but it comes to the point where we win as a team when we do well, and we lose as a team when we mess up,” goalkeeper Angie Benson said.

It was a lot on the line today. They were playing for both the CAA regular season title and the number one seed in the upcoming tournament. After the loss, the Tigers will now enter the tournament as the number two seed.

“Hopefully it just energizes us even more, to be super hungry, and know that we’ve got to do a better job. It’s a bump in the rode, and we’ve got to recover,” Towson coach Sonia LaMonica said when asked about losing out on the number one seed.

The Tiger’s final game of the regular season will take place on Sunday, May 1. They’ll host Connecticut at 12 p.m.

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