March 15, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The final 20 minutes provided an encouraging sight as the Vanderbilt lacrosse team scored seven times.
The late scoring surge, however, was far from enough to overcome a 10-point deficit to No. 11 Penn State as the Commodores lost 14-8 on Saturday at the VU Lacrosse Complex in the American Lacrosse Conference opener for both teams.
Sophomore midfielder Kelly Chandler tied a career high with four goals to pace Vanderbilt (3-4, 0-1), which dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.
But the Nittany Lions (5-3, 1-0) won their fifth straight over Vanderbilt after jumping out to a 4-0 lead. They led 8-1 at halftime and scored twice in the first two minutes out of the break to quickly push the lead to 11-1.
"You can't put yourself in that hole and then expect to make a big comeback," coach Cathy Swezey said. "Too little too late."
Chandler scored four goals in a game for the second time this season and first since the season opener at Kennesaw State on Feb. 7. She now is tied with Mallory Schonk for the second-most goals on the team this season with 13. Chandler scored on two free position attempts, netted an unassisted goal and scored off an assist from Schonk.
She accounted for the team's first four goals. Her last cut the lead to 13-4 and was the first of five straight goals by the Commodores. Amanda Lockwood scored back-to-back goals, then Alexa Kunowsky and Emma Dagres each scored to pull within five goals with 3:52 left.
The Nittany Lions' Jenna Mosketti responded with a goal seconds later off the draw control to end the spurt and seal the victory.
"Coming together as a team and playing a full 60 minutes together was what we needed to do and that was our biggest struggle," Chandler said.
Dagres had a goal and assist and Schonk added two assists to up her team-leading total to 16 assists and 29 points. The Commodores took just 15 shots compared to 27 by Penn State. Vanderbilt also turned the ball over 23 times and lost the draw control battle 14-10.
Vanderbilt continues a four-game homestand on Wednesday by stepping out of conference to play Louisville at 3 p.m.
"That was a tough loss," Chandler said. "We were really pumped going into it. We knew we could win. It is disappointing right now. But we have Louisville and we have another chance to go out there and show them what we're made of."