April 2, 2014
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Surrendering the game’s first six goals was too much for the Vanderbilt lacrosse team to overcome.
The Commodores suffered a 12-8 loss to Harvard on Wednesday. Abby Wheeler scored five goals, Alexa Kunowsky added two and Mallory Schonk scored once.
After a thrilling victory over No. 9 Johns Hopkins on Saturday, the Commodores (4-7) were hoping to win consecutive games for the first time this season. But, after nearly 11 minutes of scoreless play, Harvard grabbed the lead for good and jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Vanderbilt pulled within three by halftime. But another burst out of the break allowed Harvard (5-4) to lead by as many as seven.
“Taking nothing away from Harvard, we need to play more consistently and show up two games in a row,” coach Cathy Swezey said.
The Commodores missed their first seven shots. They scrounged up several good looks but goalie Kelly Weis made four saves. Vanderbilt also encountered some tough luck, including a laser from Alexa Kunowsky that clanged off the post. Weis finished with 10 saves on 25 Vanderbilt shots.
Harvard, which beat Vanderbilt for the first time in three tries, took a six-goal lead in 10-minute stretch.
The Commodores eventually ended their drought on a pass from Emma Dagres. Wheeler was just getting started as she notched her second five-goal game of the season (she had a career-high seven against Stanford on March 2). Wheeler leads the team with 27 goals this season.
Kunowsky scored a minute later on a pass from Amanda Lockwood. Wheeler sliced the lead in half, 6-3, on a free position shot.
Junior Maddie Kratz replaced freshman Callahan Kent in goal with four minutes left in the first half. Kratz came up with three big saves in the last 30 seconds of the first half to keep the deficit at three goals.
But the Crimson scored twice in the opening two minutes of the second half to snag back the momentum. Harvard led 11-4 with 12:25 remaining. Sparked by Wheeler’s fourth goal with 8:52 left, Kunowsky and Schonk scored and Vanderbilt cut the deficit to 11-7 with three goals in two minutes.
But Marisa Romeo scored her career-high sixth goal for Harvard with 3:17 remaining to seal the victory.
The Commodores return home to Nashville to play Ohio State at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The team will honor its five seniors – Wheeler, Brandi Byner, Alyssa Dunlap, Chelsea Lanzoni and Sarah Tustin – on Senior Day before the game.