March 29, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt snapped a four-game losing streak in a huge way on Saturday - with an upset over No. 9 Johns Hopkins.
The Commodores picked up their second win over a ranked opponent this season with a 12-11 victory over the previously undefeated Blue Jays. Kelly Chandler scored four times and Mallory Schonk and Abby Wheeler each scored twice to lift the 'Dores past JHU (10-1, 1-1 ALC) on a rainy and soggy afternoon at the VU Lacrosse Complex. The Commodores have won eight of their last nine against JHU.
"I talked to my team a lot about creating history for our program and living up the big things we've done in the past and not letting our current record hold us back," coach Cathy Swezey said. "They did. They stepped up in such a big way. There were so many big performances on the field it is hard to single out one person. So many people did big things. A huge shoutout to our defense, though. We put in a specific game plan to try to handle this team. They have three big guns. Our team bought in and they did it. It was awesome."
Vanderbilt (4-6, 1-1) won its first game since an upset of No. 13 Stanford on March 2 thanks to a late first-half surge. The Commodores took a 2-0 lead early into the game thanks to two quick goals from Chandler. Hopkins answered and went in front 4-2. But Vanderbilt grabbed a 7-4 halftime lead with five goals in the last 5:06 of the half.
That included four goals in a 62-second span as Alexa Kunowsky started the spurt after picking up a rebound and firing back into the net. Wheeler scored 11 seconds later. Chandler gave the 'Dores the lead for good on an unassisted goal and then nine seconds later Wheeler scored again after Kunowsky won the draw control and dished out an assist. Schonk gave the 'Dores a three-goal lead with seven seconds left in the half when she scored on a free position shot.
The 'Dores led by as many as four goals twice in the second half but Johns Hopkins battled back in the second half. The Blue Jays pulled to within one, 12-11, with 2:11 left, won the ensuing draw control and called a timeout with two minutes left. Then junior Meggie Ramzy made arguably the defensive play of the day by checking John Hopkins' Haley Schweizer and causing a turnover. The ball plopped right into Alex Duckenfield's stick and the Commodores ran out the clock.
"We couldn't be happier," freshman Jill Doherty said. "It has finally transitioned for us into a big win. Hopkins is a great team but I think we came out today and took it to them."
As time ticked down, Swezey leapt in the air. The bench cleared and the celebration ensued on the field as the team swarmed freshman Callahen Kent, who made her first start in goal and had three saves.
"We have done this. We did this at Stanford. It's not like it is new to us," Swezey said. "But our kids have to do a better job of capturing what they brought today, what they brought out at Stanford and even against Louisville. We've played some great games but not come out on top. I'm just really proud of our kids. When you go hard for 60 minutes good things happen."
Seven Commodores scored with goals also coming from Jill Doherty, Emma Dagres, Alexa Kunowsky and Amanda Lockwood. Doherty added two assists and Chandler, Kunowsky, Dagres and Lockwood also had an assist. Chandler scored at least four goals for the fourth time this season. The sophomore has an astonishing 16 goals in the past four games and leads the team with 25 goals.
It was an ideal way to wrap up a four-game homestand as Vanderbilt hits the road for a 1:30 p.m. tilt on Wednesday against Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.