NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt lacrosse team (5-3, 2-0) returned home after having a six game road trip. The Commodores made up for lost time and scored the most goals since Feb. 7, 2015, when they scored 24 in the home opener against Kennesaw State. The `Dores had control of the game from start to finish en route to a 22-4 victory over Butler (1-9, 0-2).
Head coach Cathy Swezey emphasized ground balls and shooting percentage coming into the game and was pleased with the improvements she saw.
"Ironically, most of the 50-50 balls came off draw controls than missed passes so there were only six ground balls on the day," said Swezey. "I did see us fighting really hard to get those balls. We asked our defense to explode off the eight-meter mark and make a challenge on the ball and we did that a few times so that was an improvement. The shooting percentage was clearly an improvement. We needed a shooting day like that and hopefully we can continue to move forward with it."
Starting slow had also been an issue over the past few games for the Commodores but it was not a problem this afternoon. Julie Blaze started the scoring off with the opening goal just 1:33 into the game.
Shortly after, the `Dores had goals from Kayla Peterson (two) and Melanie Becker to increase the lead to 4-0 and forced Butler to take a timeout. The Commodores would add another goal from Jill Doherty before the Bulldogs got on the scoreboard at the 22:35 mark.
After the Butler goal, Vanderbilt made sure the Bulldogs could not get into the game and went on a 5-0 and held a 10-1 lead with over 15 minutes remaining in the first half. During the run, the `Dores got goals from Emily Mathewson (two), K. Peterson, Doherty, and MacKenzie Lange.
The rest of the half was back-and-forth as the `Dores outscored the Bulldogs 4-2 and took a 14-3 lead into the break. Peterson netted two more goals while Hadley Brown scored her second of the season and Caroline Peters scored her fifth of the year to close out the half.
The Commodores made a switch in the cage to begin the second half. Callahan Kent got the start Saturday afternoon picked up her fourth win of the season. After halftime, freshman Madison Foglio had the first extended playing time of her collegiate career and held the Bulldogs to just one goal in the second half.
The `Dores tallied eight goals in the second half while the entire team saw significant playing time. Peterson and Brown scored twice in the second period while Peters and Doherty each added another goal.
The final two goals of the game came from defender Margaret Fee. Her first goal was an impressive sequence for the junior from Needham, Mass. Butler's Allie Storke saved her initial shot but Fee did not give up on the play. She scooped up the ground ball and stuffed it in the back of the net. Fee second goal of the game closed out the `Dores 22-4 win.
Kayla Peterson had another career game Saturday afternoon. She scored seven goals, which eclipsed her career high that she set earlier in the season against Furman. Hadley Brown (three) and Margaret Fee (two) both set career-highs in goals against the Bulldogs.
Junior Jess Dadino picked up her first career assist and set a career-mark by winning two draw controls. Fellow junior Leah Peterson also set a career best in draw controls with two against the Bulldogs.
Jill Doherty led the `Dores in points for the fourth time this season with eight (three goals, five assists). She tied a career-high with the five assists and added two caused turnovers and a team-high five draw controls.
Caroline Peters had her second multi-goal game of the season and Emily Mathewson had her fifth-consecutive game with two goals or more. MacKenzie Lange tallied at least one goal for the fifth time this season and Melanie Becker scored in her sixth game this year.
The Commodores will have a week off until their next game. They will travel south to face nationally ranked Florida on Saturday, April 1. That game will begin at 11 am CT.