NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt Commodores (6-4, 3-1) looked to rebound following their defeat to No. 3 Florida and they did just that against UConn (3-8, 0-3). They controlled most of the action Wednesday afternoon en route to a 16-8 win. The Dores improved to 3-1 in league play, which is their best start in conference play since joining the BIG EAST in 2015.
"What today was about was Vanderbilt Lacrosse," said head coach Cathy Swezey. "To see our team play at the level they did today, I really think they got in touch with who they are and I couldn’t be happier."
Senior MacKenzie Lange started the scoring off for the Commodores when she took the feed from Jill Doherty and stuffed it in the back of the cage. It was Lange’s seventh goal of the season and gave the Dores a 1-0 lead.
UConn would have an answer after a few back-and-forth possessions. Kelsey Catalano would score off the free-position opportunity to tie things up at 1-1.
The Huskies would take the lead just about three minutes later on another free position shot. This time it was Grace Nolan for UConn and she put them up 2-1 with 21:47 remaining in the first half.
The Dores would answer in a big way, as they would put up the next four goals. Julie Blaze started it off with her first goal of the afternoon just 19 seconds after UConn took the lead. Then Melanie Becker got in the scoring action with her 12th goal of the year to give the Dores a 3-2 lead.
The next Commodore goal would come from Doherty, her first of the afternoon. She found the back of the net on a free position shot to put the Dores up 4-2. Fellow senior Caroline Peters would find the scoring column next off the feed from Emily Mathewson giving the Dores a 5-2 lead with 13:35 left in the first half.
The last 13 minutes would go back-and-forth with each team exchanging goals. UConn would outscore Vanderbilt 3-2 to end the half and the Dores would have a 7-5 lead going into the break. Doherty and Blaze would get the two remaining goals in the half for the Commodores.
The second half was all Vanderbilt as they started with a fury. They scored the first two goals of the half and went on a 6-2 run. They held the Huskies to two goals for the first 24 minutes of the half and only gave up three goals in the entire second half.
Doherty would score the first goal of the second half on the free position shot for her third goal of the afternoon. Then Doherty would assist on the following goal by Caroline Peters at the 28:21 mark.
UConn would score two straight goals to make it a 9-7 game with 22:42 left but that would be it for a while for the Huskies. The swarming Commodore defense would hold them scoreless for over 18 minutes while going on a 4-0 run.
Lange started the run off with her second goal of the afternoon at the 21:23 mark. Peterson followed it up with her first goal of the afternoon to give the Dores an 11-7 lead.
Blaze would find the back of the cage again, giving her the hat trick on the afternoon. It was her fifth hat trick of the season, which is the most on the team. Emily Mathewson would be next to score for the Dores. She scored in her seventh-straight game to build the Dores lead to 13-8.
UConn would end it’s scoreless streak with a goal from Jacqueline Jordan at the 4:02 mark but that would be the final goal of the game for the Huskies.
The Commodores would score the last three goals of the game, the first coming from junior Kayla Pruitt. It is her second-straight game with a goal after scoring her first career goal over the weekend against Florida. Next up was Gwyn Devin with her second goal of the season. To cap it off, it was Doherty again for her season-high fourth goal of the game to seal the 16-8 win for the Dores.
Doherty led the way offensively for the Commodores, scoring a team-high four goals and dishing out two assists. She also won four draw controls, picked up three ground balls and caused two turnovers against the Huskies.
Caroline Peters had her third multi-goal game of the season against UConn. Kayla Peterson won a team-high five draw controls and scored a goal on the afternoon.
Defensively, the Commodore back-line was solid all afternoon long, holding the Huskies to their second-fewest goals this season. Junior Frankie Angeleri led the way with three ground balls and one caused turnover. Eliza Clemens caused two turnovers and scooped up a ground ball. Alex Rasmussen had a caused turnover and ground ball while Margaret Fee caused a turnover and won a draw control.
In the cage, freshman Madison Foglio earned her first collegiate start after an impressive second half against Florida. She played all 30 minutes against the Gators and led the team with four saves and kept up the good play Wednesday against UConn. Foglio made 10 saves on the afternoon and picked up her first collegiate win.
The Commodores will look to ride the momentum from this afternoon as they have a quick turnaround before their next game. They will travel to Washington D.C. this weekend to take on Georgetown. Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs is slated for a 12 pm CT start.