GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Vanderbilt Commodores (5-4, 2-1) faced their toughest challenge this season on Saturday against No. 3 Florida (9-2, 3-0). The Gators took control of the game from the opening draw and built a 12-0 lead going into halftime. The Commodores would fight back in the second half but ultimately fell 16-6.
Florida won the opening draw and scored the games first goal just 17 seconds in off the free position shot from Sammi Burgess. The Gators would go on to score the next 11 goals of the half and took a 12-0 lead into halftime.
The Commodores would respond in the second half, slowing down the high-powered Gator attack. Florida scored the first two goals of the second half and held a 14-0 lead at the 28:49 mark but after that point, the Dores answered and held the Gators in check the rest of the game.
Senior Jill Doherty got the Dores on the board at the 24:18 mark off the assist from Julie Blaze.
Florida’s Mollie Stevens would answer but then Blaze would find the back of the net for her first goal of the afternoon with 20:23 left in the half.
Following the Commodores goal, it was Doherty again to score for the Dores off the free position opportunity. It was her second goal of the game and brought the deficit to 15-3.
The Dores continued to play solid defensively and kept the Gators off the board for a 14-minute stretch in the second half before Shayna Pirreca would score Florida’s final goal of the game at the 8:28 mark.
The final three goals of the game would belong to the Commodores as Emily Mathewson scored her 15th goal of the season at the 4:48 mark. Then junior Kayla Pruitt would score her first career goal less than two minutes later off the feed from Melanie Becker. The final goal of the game belonged to Caroline Peters off the assist from Avery Hoelting.
Going into the game, the Dores focused on ground balls as the Gators were ranked No. 5 in the country and averaged over 23 a game. The Commodores won the ground ball battle Saturday afternoon 19-18. 10 different Commodores scooped up ground balls with sophomore Alex Rasmussen leading the charge with five, which was a career-high.
Doherty led the Dores in draw controls with seven on the afternoon and tied for the most points with two. Blaze also had two points against the Gators and had a team-high three caused turnovers. All three Commodores saw time in the cage and freshman Madison Foglio led the team with four saves.
The Commodores will look to rebound when they return home this week to continue BIG EAST play. They will take on UConn Wednesday afternoon at 1 pm CT at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Facility.