TopOfTheCircle.com

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Oct. 6, 2018 — USA 14, James Madison 10

As fall-ball exhibitions go, the women’s half of the U.S. Lacrosse Classic shouldn’t have been a fair fight, not with the professionals dotting the U.S. roster as they took on defending national champion James Madison.

Yet, the Dukes stayed within a goal of the prototype 2022 World Cup side and only fell adrift in the last of five 15-minute periods played at Tierney Field in Glencoe, Md.

Taylor Cummings, the three-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner, was her usual excellent self, dominating the draw circle to the extent that, after one goal, James Madison didn’t send anyone to face her, drawing a delay-of-game green card from the umpires.

Both teams, preparing for forthcoming play during fall-ball as well as for tournament play down the line, went with experimental lineups and substituted new players liberally.

I think a couple of players to watch on the Dukes’ roster are a pair of incoming first-year players from long-time national power Moorestown (N.J.), Ava Frantz and Kasey Knobloch are well-trained, disciplined athletes who will, I think, work well in the JMU system, especially given the new rules of the game.

JMU continues play tomorrow at Tierney Field, facing Boston College, Arizona State, and Johns Hopkins. It will be interesting to see how your defending national champions handle a very demanding fall-ball schedule.

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