HARRISONBURG, Va. – Freshman Lisa Giezeman scored the game-winning goal with 8:59 left in overtime as second-seeded Delaware captured its third straight CAA Field Hockey Championship, defeating top seed and tournament host James Madison, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at the JMU Field Hockey Complex.
The current No. 15 Blue Hens, who obtain their fifth overall CAA title, are the first league team to win three straight titles since James Madison did so from 2006-08. Ironically, UD defeated JMU by the same score in last year’s title contest.
Giezeman, a member of the All-CAA Rookie Team, also added an assist in the win, while junior Esmee Peet accounted for the other UD score. Peet, a three-time All-CAA First Team member, was tabbed Tournament Most Outstanding Performer.
For the third straight year, Delaware claims the CAA’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Tournament and finds out its future destination and opponent during the selection show tonight on NCAA.com at 10:00 p.m.
James Madison, hosting the CAA Championship for the first time since 1999, now hopes for a shot in the NCAA Tournament as an at-large participant. The Dukes own two wins over ranked foes this season and are currently ranked No. 18 in the latest RPI standings.
The No. 16 Dukes battled continuously throughout and tied the contest in the 47th minute of the second half after sophomore Hannah Hall poked in a rebound past UD goalkeeper Emmeline Oltmans.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the first half, despite UD outshooting the hosts, 8-1. Peet put the Blue Hens on the board with just over five minutes left before half and that’s how both teams entered the break, with UD ahead (1-0).
Giezeman grabbed possession of the ball and dribbled in from the right side before finding Peet, who streaked across the middle and slotted a shot past the outstretched Madison goalkeeper Sara Kraeutler. Kraeutler made four stops in the first half.
Madison upped the pressure on UD early on in the second half. After a number of opportunities failed, the Dukes finally broke through the tie the game after Hall followed a blast from the point and tipped the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
Delaware had a 5-0 advantage in corners during the first half, while JMU had four alone in the second half. The drama, though, grew as time winded down in regulation. Delaware earned a corner as time expired, but JMU’s D came up huge and thwarted any chances of a goal as the game went to overtime.
Notes: The Hens are now 3-1 in the CAA Tournament all-time versus the Dukes, including a 2-1 victory last November in the title game. Amazingly, last eight meetings between the two teams have all been decided by one goal. The series during that stretch is now tied (4-4). James Madison holds a narrow 10-9 margin over Delaware in the all-time series, which began in 1999. The Dukes came away with the 2-1 overtime victory versus the Blue Hens on Oct. 4 (this season) at Rullo Stadium. JMU entered Sunday with a 2-1 record in the title game as the No. 1 overall seed.
2015 CAA FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday, November 6 – Semifinals (JMU Field Hockey Complex – Harrisonburg, Va.)
#1 James Madison Dukes 3, #4 Drexel Dragons 0
#2 University Delaware Blue Hens 8, #3 Hofstra University 1
Sunday, November 8 – Title Game (JMU Field Hockey Complex – Harrisonburg, Va.)
#2 Delaware Blue Hens 2, #1 James Madison Dukes 1 (OT)
2015 ALL-CAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD HOCKEY TEAM
Emma Drost, James Madison | Fr. | M
Lisa Giezeman, Delaware | Fr. | F
Lauren Hibshman, Drexel | Sr. | M/B
Charlotte Loehr, Hofstra | Sr. | M
Allie Mikelson, Delaware | Sr. | M
*Esmee Peet, Delaware | Jr. | M
Ainslie Rhoads, Drexel | Jr. | GK
Stella Schoen, Hofstra | Jr. | F/M
Loes Stijntjes, James Madison | Sr. | D/M
Taylor West, James Madison | R-Sr. | M/F
Maura Zarkoski, Delaware | Jr. | M
*Most Outstanding Player