Hammaker's Heroics Lead Drexel Past JMU and into CAA Playoffs

Harrisonburg, Va. – Megan Hammaker scored the game-winning goal with just seven seconds remaining in the match to give Drexel an improbable, 2-1 win at University Park on Sunday afternoon. With the victory, the Dragons (12-3-2, 6-2-1) clinched the school's first-ever Colonial Athletic Association playoff berth.
James Madison (7-11, 5-5 CAA) had the momentum in the final minutes after tying the game with 8:23 to play. Becky Sparks sent a cross towards the goal after a Drexel foul. Eve Badana got her hands on the ball, but it slipped through and Amalya Clayton poked it home to even the score. It appeared the teams would be forced to play overtime. However, Drexel pressed on. Biz Matta served the ball into the box and after a big hop, Megan Hammaker gained control of the ball. The sophomore turned and lofted a shot into the upper right corner, giving Drexel its first win ever in Harrisonburg and a place in the CAA playoffs, which begin next week.
Drexel broke a scoreless tie less than two minutes into the second half. Senior Juliana Speroni fed a ball from inside Drexel's zone up the middle perfectly to Jess Sarkisian. The junior broke in alone, with a JMU defender just behind her. Sarkisian made a move past JMU keeper Marlee Stynchula and deposited the shot in the open goal from just inside the six. It was her second goal of the season.
The Dukes came out strong at the start and controlled play for most of the first half. James Madison fired five shots, four on goal from outside of the box. All four were stopped by Badana, who finished the day with nine saves. The Dukes also had three corners in the first half. Overall, JMU outshot Drexel 14-6 and had a 9-2 edge on corner kicks.
The Dragons now have 19 points on the season, placing them in second place in the CAA behind William & Mary at 21 points. Delaware, Hofstra, Northeastern and UNCW have clinched a playoff spot and are tied in the standings with 18 points.
The Dragons close the regular season on Wednesday night at Vidas Field with a match against Delaware. A win against their long-time rivals would clinch a first-round bye in the championships.  

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments