HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Saint Joseph’s field hockey season opened up its challenging weekend slate with a defeat, falling to #15 James Madison, 4-1, at the JMU Field Hockey Complex on Friday afternoon.

After a back and forth start to the game, James Madison (5-0) took the lead with just over six minutes remaining in the first half as Ashley Gippe tallied her fourth goal of the season.

Junior Joely Helder leveled the game for Saint Joseph’s (3-2) shortly before halftime, as she tipped a ball from sophomore Kathrin Bentz past JMU’s Sara Kraeutler on a penalty corner for her first goal of the season.

The Dukes took control in the second half as Melanie Kusakavitch put JMU in front nine minutes into the frame before Miranda Rigg doubled the lead four minutes later.

Hannah Hall then pushed the edge to 4-1 on a penalty corner to set the final margin with 14:11 remaining.

Sophomore Victoria Kammerinke made six saves in the game for the Hawks, while Kraeutler finished with four for JMU.

The Hawks will face their second ranked opponent of the weekend on Sunday as #22 Rutgers visits Ellen Ryan Field.  Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.