NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt lacrosse team absorbed the first blow and punched back.The Commodores just didn't have enough answers for high-scoring No. 11 Stanford.
After pulling within a goal four times in the first half, Vanderbilt succumbed to a scoring barrage from the Cardinalover the next 40 minutes and suffered a 22-11 loss on Sunday at the Multipurpose Facility.
"They got the start but we came right back and answered," Vanderbilt coach Cathy Swezey said. "We thought we made halftime adjustments that would help our kids rise to the occasion and they actually sat back more. This is just a bad lacrosse day for Vanderbilt. And Stanford, to their credit, had an exceptional day."
Stanford scored 73 seconds into the game and Vanderbilt (3-3) trailed the rest of the way en route to its third straight loss. The Cardinal jumped out to a 4-0 lead but Vanderbilt didn't back down. Caroline Peters got the scoring started with an unassisted and then Kayla Peterson took over. The freshman scored the first of three straight goals on a pass from Alexa Kunowsky. She then notched another unassisted and then scored her third and final goal on assist from Mallory Schonk to once again pull Vanderbilt within one.
The teams tradedflurries of goals for the next 10 minutes, with Stanford leading 8-5 and then Vanderbilt's Meggie Ramzy and Emma Dagres responding with goals 26 seconds apart to cut the deficit to 8-7 with 10:51 left in the first half. But that's when the undefeated Cardinal (4-0) began to pull away. After taking a timeout, Stanford came out firing and scored the game's next four goals for a five-goal lead. Peters responded with her second goal of the day and then Amanda Lockwood found the back of the net with 41 seconds left thanks to the second straight assist from Jill Doherty to trim the margin to 12-9.
Stanford, however, struck twice more, scoring with 28 and 14 seconds left to take a ton of momentum and a 14-9 lead into halftime. The late stretch at the end of the first half proved to be the difference as Stanford scored twice more just two minutes after the break and led by as many as 12 in the second half.
"It is tough as a coach, because we've coached them through these things," Swezey said of the two Stanford goals in the final 28 seconds of the first half. "We've gone over how to play people coming out of transition. We started playing on our heels and there was no reason for it then. It was a close game."
It was the first game for the Commodores without starting attackerKelly Chandler, who ranked 10th in Division I with 5.60 draws a game. She tore her ACL in practice on Thursday and is out for the rest of the season. The junior plans to use a medical redshirt, which will give her two more seasons of eligibility. She was missed on Sunday as VU was beat on the draw 28-7, including zero draws in the second half. The bevy of draws led to plenty of opportunies for the Cardinal, who fired off 39 shots compared to Vanderbilt's 17.
"We could dance around it and pretend that's not the case, but we have plenty of really athletic kids that can get it done and we just have to find who is going to answer that call," Swezey said of the impact of Chandler's absence. "You can't put a price on the loss of someone like her. She's passionate. She's a leader. She is a talent all over the field. So it's huge."
The bright spot of the day was Peterson. The 5-foot-10 midfielder from Hagerstown, Md., came off the bench and set a career-high with three goals and dished out an assist along with stepping up in the circle and collecting a career-high three draw controls.
"It was great," Swezey said. "To see her come in, we asked her this week to step up a little bit when Kelly went down. We were hopeful she would and then for her to come into the game and do it was really exciting for us as a staff. We just need more kids to step up like she did."
Senior captain Maggie Forker also had a big day, with career-highs in ground balls (six) and caused turnovers (four). Both goalkeepers played with senior Maddie Kratz making the start before Swezey switched to Callahan Kent with 10:51 left in the first half. Swezey went back to Kratz about seven minutes into the second half. Kratz made four saves and Kent had six stops.
The Commodores will try to snap out the three-game losing skid nextweekend when they hit the road to play No. 9 Penn State at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 15.