March 13, 2013
Freshman Kelly Chandler scores a first-half goal for the Commodores
NASHVILLE - The Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team scored the game's final four games, but fell just short of eighth-ranked Notre Dame, 12-11, Wednesday at the VU Lacrosse Complex.
The game featured five ties as the two teams were deadlocked for much of the first half. Vanderbilt took its fourth lead of the game at 6-5 on a goal by freshman Alexa Kunowsky just over a minute into the second half.
But the Irish responded to score six of the game's next seven goals. With 7:27 left in the contest, the Commodores found themselves down 12-7. Vanderbilt would rally by scoring the next four goals, with two tallies by freshman Mallory Schonk sandwiched between goals by senior Olivia Goodman and junior Abby Wheeler.
Trailing by just one goal with :36 seconds remaining, the Commodores would the ensuing draw but could not complete the comeback.
"Comebacks wouldn't be necessary if we didn't have lulls," VU Head Coach Cathy Swezey said. "Looking at the stats, you can see clearly that there was a 20-minute lull when we had one goal to their seven. That's what ended up hurting us. Obviously we're showing character to come back, but the hard part is to fight this hard and work as hard as we are every day in practice and continue to lose."
Senior attacker Carly Linthicum, who entered the game ranked sixth in the nation in goals per game (3.86), led the Commodores with four goals. Swezey noted that the Salisbury, Md., native is scoring despite receiving the most attention from opposing defenses.
"With Carly, it has gotten to the point where the expectation for her is always to perform," Swezey said. "That's a lot to live up to, but she continues to do it."
The game was sloppy throughout, with the two teams combining for 48 turnovers. Vanderbilt was led defensively by junior Brandi Byner and senior goalkeeper Chelsea Pasfield, who each caused three Irish turnovers. Senior Paige Cahill led the Commodores with seven ground balls.
Notre Dame's second-half run was largely spurred on by the play of Barbara Sullivan, who collected nine draw controls to lead the Irish to a 15-10 advantage in the category. Sullivan also had a team-high five ground balls. Five Notre Dame players scored multiple goals, led by a hat-trick from Shauna Pugliese.
Wednesday's game marks the second straight win in the series for Notre Dame by the same 12-11 score line.
Vanderbilt next will take to the road for a pair of road contests in the state of Pennsylvania. The Commodores travel to American Lacrosse Conference rival Penn State on Sunday, March 17, before playing at Penn on Thursday, March 21. VU's next home game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, at 3 p.m. CT against Stanford.