NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Vanderbilt lacrosse team fell Saturday afternoon to the 9th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, 15-11. But not without a stellar performance by Vandy Goalie Callahan Kent earned a career-high 17 saves for the Commodores.
With the loss, Vanderbilt now owns a 4-3 record as the squad heads into a mid-week match up against Johns Hopkins.
"Callahan (Kent) has literally been that last line of defense that every team hopes for," said head coach Cathy Swezey. "She had not just a great game today, but a significant season. We're really happy with how she looks."
Kent, who faced 10 free position shots and 35 overall shots, was a brick wall for the Commodores, making save after save in crucial times for the `Dores.
Offensively, the Nittany Lions outworked the Commodores at the draw, earning 20 in the Saturday afternoon competition. PSU's Jenna Mosketti led both squads with seven. The senior leads the squad with 35 this season.
"The draw control was another issue for us again today. When we put Margaret Fee on the draw she really stepped up for us and got strong holds for our attacking which helped."
VU's Kelly Chandler led the attack for the Commodores with four goals, and two assists. Saturday was Chandlers fourth 3+ goal outing for the `Dores, who owns a season-high of five goals, which was set against Furman. Jill Doherty led the squad in assists with three.
The Commodores were in striking range until the 20-minute mark in the second half, where PSU went on a four-goal run to extend their lead to 12-6. Vandy responded to the Nittany Lion attack with one of its own, slowly chipping away at the PSU lead; 12-9.
"We had about a 10-minute span in the second half where our offence was a little tight... we were forcing a few passes and shots. I think that was when Penn State broke away from us, but we got our team to calm down and start executing what we wanted them to do. When we got back going, you could tell the difference. Kelly (Chandler) certainly came through on her looks, and when she gets her looks their on. So we were happy about that."
Vanderbilt played one of their most competitive matches of the season against their highest ranked opponent of the year. This Wednesday, March 16th, the Commodores welcome their fourth ranked opponent of the year, the No. 19 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays.
"Some of the adjustments we made near the end of the game allowed us to come back a bit, but we want to win a game like this. We don't want to just be close. We know we're knocking, so hopefully we'll break through in the next couple of weeks."