TOWSON, Md. – Elon University dropped a 15-7 contest to top-seeded James Madison in the CAA Women’s Lacrosse championship game on Sunday afternoon, May 7, at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson.
The Phoenix was making its first conference tournament championship appearance in program history, but fell to 13-6 on the season with the loss. JMU’s win moved the Dukes to 13-6 on the year. It captured its 10th tournament title in team history.
Sloane Kessler led Elon with two goals, her third multi-goal game in the last four outings. Five others players – Stephanie Asher, Nicole Sinacori, Kelsey Dupere, Maeve Cowley and Jacie Cooper – each scored once to round out Elon’s offensive output. Both Cooper and Dupere led the Phoenix with two draw controls apiece. Rachel Ramirez and Abby Godfrey each finished with three caused turnovers and Kira Oberle had two.
JMU’s Hannah Haven led the Dukes with four goals and three assists for seven points. CAA Player of the Year Haley Warden added three goals with three draw controls and two caused turnovers while Margaret Tucker Fogarty finished with three goals, scoring on all three shots she took. In goal, Emily Poelma finished with nine saves.
JMU got off to a hot start in scoring the game’s first six goals before Dupere ended the run with her 15th goal of the year. Following two more James Madison goals, Kessler scored with 35 seconds left in the opening half to cut the lead to six at the break. Kessler’s goal was assisted by Dupere, who drew a free position attempt by cutting in front of goal and getting fouled on her shot. With a look straight at goal on the free position attempt, Dupere immediately fed to a wide-open Kessler just off the right post and the senior connected with her 24th of the season.
In the second half, JMU scored twice in a matter of 24 seconds to extend its lead to eight with 25:09 left in the game, but the Phoenix quickly cut it back to six at 10-4 with Cowley and Sinacori scoring 44 seconds apart. JMU, though, responded with three more of its own to extend the lead to nine at 13-4 with 16:27 to play.
Down the stretch, Elon scored three of the game’s last five goals with Kessler, Cooper and Asher tallying, but it was too little too late with JMU already in front after its solid first half.
– Elon finished with 22 shots in the game with six of them coming in the final nine minutes. Its two fewest shot totals in games this season came against James Madison, finishing with 13 on April 7 in Harrisonburg, Va. Outside of its two games against JMU, the next lowest shot total was 24 against Towson on April 9 and North Carolina on March 14.
– Stephanie Asher was held to just one shot in the game, but she scored on the lone shot with 2:47 to play. Only four times in her 52 games has Asher been held to one shot or less. She’s been held scoreless in a game just six times in her career.
– Asher currently stands one goal short of jumping into a tie for 10th place with four other players for the 10th-most goals in a season in CAA history. She currently has 58 on the year, which is a program record.
– A fourth-year program, Elon has never reached the NCAA Tournament.
Following the best season in program history with 13 wins, Elon will await its NCAA Tournament fate Sunday night when the NCAA reveals the 26-team championship bracket. The field will be announced at 9 p.m. Sunday night with the announcement streamed live on NCAA.com.