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James Madison women’s soccer tops Wake Forest 4-1 in exhibition

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (Via James Madison University) – Senior forward Ashley Herndon scored a pair of goals and James Madison held Wake Forest without a shot in the second half as the Dukes rolled to a 4-1 victory in an exhibition match at University Park on Thursday evening.

Herndon, a First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association pick and the CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2015, notched a goal in each half and assisted on the Dukes’ initial tally to pace the potent JMU offense on the evening.

Senior forward Sydney Braun-McLeod provided fireworks of her own, opening the scoring in the sixth minute with a rocket from 25 yards that found the upper-left corner of the net. Herndon doubled the Dukes’ advantage just seven minutes later, when she buried a penalty kick after senior Allie Bunner was dragged down in the box.

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Wake Forest pulled a goal back in the 15th minute to cut JMU’s advantage to 2-1, but the two teams battled in the midfield for the remainder of the opening period. After the break, the Dukes dominated possession, tallying six shots to the Demon Deacons’ zero.

Herndon put the match out of reach in the 61st minute, poking home a perfect cross from Braun-McLeod, before sophomore Carmen Thomas capped the scoring in the 68th minute, collecting another ball from Braun-McLeod and bending a shot inside the right post from the top of the box.

In all, the Dukes outshot Wake Forest, 16-6, with a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Miller notched three saves in her 45 minutes of action, while freshman Hannah McShea was not tested with a shot after halftime.

Although tonight’s four goals was in exhibition action, the Dukes scored four times just once in the 2015 season: a 5-0 victory over Seton Hall in the second contest of the campaign.

“I was really happy with our effort tonight. We were energetic and composed and we put Wake Forest under a lot of pressure. You don’t want to put too much stock in an exhibition match, but I think we can take many positives out of tonight.”

The Dukes face Longwood at University Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in the second of their two exhibition matches prior to the 2016 season. JMU opens its regular season on Friday, August 19, when it hosts Arkansas at 7 p.m.

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