Feb. 15, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A five-day break rejuvenated the Vanderbilt lacrosse team.
And did wonders for its offense.
Alexa Kunowsky scored a season-high four goals, freshman Jill Doherty scored the first three goals of her career and the Commodores pulled away in the second half for a 20-8 win over Liberty on Saturday at the VU Lacrosse Complex.
Nine players scored as Vanderbilt (2-1) notched 20 goals for the second time in three games. The Commodores bounced back from a 13-6 loss to Massachusetts on Sunday and never trailed against the Lady Flames (0-2).
Along with Kunowsky and Doherty, Mallory Schonk (3), Abby Wheeler (3), Kelly Chandler (2) and Sydney Trentzsch (2, a career-high) scored multiple goals. Ashlin Dolan, Amanda Lockwood and Mackenzie Smith also tallied goals.
Chandler sparked the offense by scoring just 13 seconds into the game after winning the opening draw. Liberty tied it up a couple minutes later but the ‘Dores responded with five straight goals – two apiece by Kunowsky and Doherty and one from Schonk.
The Lady Flames closed the gap to 8-5 at halftime. But the Commodores all but sealed the victory with a strong start to the second half. Schonk scored on a free position shot in the third minute of the half. Thirty-five seconds later, she set up Chandler for a goal. Dolan, Lockwood and Wheeler scored in consecutive minutes and quickly pushed the lead to 13-5 less than seven minutes into the final half.
Schonk, the reigning ALC Offensive Player of the Week, also tallied three assists. Through three games she leads the team with nine goals, eight assists and 17 points.
Doherty, who came off the bench after starting the first two games, added two assists and three draw controls. Chandler led the team with four draw controls.
Senior defender Alyssa Dunlap also won three draw controls in addition to three ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Emma Dagres, Maggie Forker and goalkeeper Maddie Kratz each had three ground balls. Kratz put together a solid performance in goal with seven saves to improve to 2-1.
The Commodores won the draw control battle 18-12 and also outshot Liberty 39-14. The Lady Flames committed 24 turnovers – the most by a Vanderbilt opponent this season.
Vanderbilt now has a week off before it hits the road to play defending national champ and No. 1 North Carolina next Saturday.