ELON, N.C. – The Vanderbilt Commodores traveled down to Elon, N.C with upset on their mind as they faced off with No. 16 Elon Wednesday night. The Phoenix had other plans as they scored the first three goals of the game and the Commodores would chase that deficit for the rest of the evening. No. 16 Elon would defeat the Commodores 12-9 to improve to 6-1 on the year while the ‘Dores drop to 2-2.
"I thought we underperformed tonight,” said head coach Cathy Swezey. “Our shooting was off and we played a little tight early on. We know we are capable of competing with the top 20 and we will keep working to get our game on track."
Elon would strike first just 18 seconds into the game off of a free position shot. The Phoenix would get another goal just over two minutes later to extend their lead to 2-0. Elon would strike again at the 23:51 mark of the first half to build their lead to three and the Commodores would call a timeout to regroup.
Vanderbilt would answer the Elon surge with a goal by freshman Avery Hoelting while the Commodores faced a man-down situation with 20:35 left in the first half.
Elon would have an answer as they scored four minutes later and brought the lead back up to three goals at 4-1.
Just 33 seconds after the goal by the Phoenix, MacKenzie Lange had a free position shot from a tough angle but would stuff it in the back of the net to bring the Commodores within two.
Again, the Phoenix would have an answer for the ‘Dores. Their leading goal scorer Stephanie Asher would score off the free position shot and Elon would lead 5-2. Just under a minute later it was Asher again for Elon, as she scored her third goal of the game to give the Phoenix a 6-2 lead.
Avery Hoelting would step up again for the Commodores, scoring her second goal of the game with 8:24 remaining in the first.
The ‘Dores would win the ensuing draw and had two good looks at goal from Kayla Peterson and Caroline Peters but Elon came up with two big saves. The Phoenix would gain possession and score once again to bring the lead back up to four at 7-3 with 3:14 left in the first half.
The Commodores would not end the first half without a fight. They turned Elon over and gained the final possession of the half and turned it into a goal when Emily Mathewson scored with 20.4 left on the clock. The ‘Dores would head into the half down 7-4 but with some momentum off the late goal.
Elon would win the opening draw of the second half but the ‘Dores would quickly turn them over and turned it into a goal from Kayla Peterson to bring the deficit to 7-5. It was the first goal of the night for Peterson and her 14th of the season, which ties a career-high.
The Commodore defense stood tall after the Peterson goal, keeping the Phoenix from scoring over the next ten minutes of play. Unfortunately for the ‘Dores, they could not find the back of the net during that time and Elon would score with 17:25 left in the second half.
The Phoenix would score again three minutes later and the lead was back up to four at 9-5.
The ‘Dores would have another run in them and Melanie Becker started it off. She would score off the assist from Emily Mathewson to bring the score to 9-6 with 12:22 remaining. 32 seconds later, Caroline Peters would have a free position attempt and she found the back of the net bringing the game to 9-7.
That would be the closest the ‘Dores would get the rest of the way. Elon would rip off three straight goals and build the lead to the largest of the night. The Commodores would finish the game with goals from Mathewson and Doherty to bring the final score to 12-9 Elon.
Offensively, freshmen Avery Hoelting and Emily Mathewson led the way for the Commodores. The pair would each score two goals and dish out an assist on the evening. Defensively, Eliza Clemens scooped up a team-high three ground balls and caused a turnover while Frankie Angeleri tallied two ground balls and caused a turnover of her own.
Callahan Kent made 11 saves on the evening against the high powered Elon attack. Freshman Madison Foglio would enter the game in the final minutes to earn her first collegiate appearance and close out the game for the ‘Dores.
The Commodores will continue their Carolina road trip as they head south to Conway, S.C. The ‘Dores will look to get back on track when they take on Coastal Carolina this Sunday at 12 pm CT.