Feb. 21, 2013
HARRISONBURG, Va. -After a low-scoring and strong defensive first half, James Madison pulled out an 11-5 victory over California in the 2013 season opener for both teams on Thursday afternoon in Harrisonburg, Va.
The Golden Bears (0-1) fell behind 2-0 after back-to-back goals from James Madison's Casey Ancarrow before freshman Brynn Gasparino netted her first collegiate goal and Cal's first score of 2013. With four minutes remaining in the first half, junior Amelia Burke evened the match at two. James Madison took a 3-2 lead going into halftime when Ancarrow registered her third goal of the game with two minutes left before the break.
James Madison took control of the game at the outset of the second half with four straight goals in the first 12 minutes of the half.
"It was the first game of the year for both teams, so it was a back-and-forth, sloppy first half," head coach Ginger Miles said. "Then JMU came out after halftime and really grabbed the momentum. It was hard for us to recover."
Cal struck back with goals from junior Paige Gasparino, sophomore Gaby Christman and senior Melissa Humphrey, but the Bears could not gain any ground because they were trading goals back and forth with James Madison.
Humphrey notched her first goal of the season with four minutes remaining in the game. She ended the day with six shots, five on goal.
Junior Megan McGinnis was in goal for the Bears, securing eight saves in her 60 minutes of work. Her counterpart, Schylar Healy, boasted 14 saves.
"Our defense played great behind the work of Megan McGinnis," Miles said. "She stepped up huge with some key stops in the first and the second half. She played fantastically well, and we played well defensively overall. We struggled in transition and with making our offensive opportunities count."
James Madison outshot Cal, 32-27, and registered 23 ground balls to the 16 for the Bears. Cal committed 23 turnovers to James Madison's 16. Draw controls were even at nine each.
Making her return to action after scoring 53 goals and earning MPSF Player of the Year honors last season, senior Megan Takacs contributed nine shots, five of which were on goal. She also collected three ground balls.
Cal now heads to UMBC for a clash on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. PT. The home opener for the Bears is slated for Tuesday, March 5, vs. Saint Mary's at 4 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.