DURHAM, N.H. -- The No. 10 Commodore women's lacrosse team defeated No. 18 New Hampshire, 11-7, Wednesday at Memorial Field.
After leading by only one goal at halftime, the Commodores scored the first three goals of the second half to take a 7-3 advantage with 20 minutes remaining. The Wildcats would get within two on a number of occasions, but the Commodores answered each time and closed with goals by senior Cara Giordano and junior Sarah Downing to seal the 11-7 victory.
New Hampshire stalled with the ball for long periods on Wednesday, spreading out the Commodore defense and attacking patiently. But Vanderbilt maintained its composure and never trailed after the game's first 11 minutes.
"I give New Hampshire a lot of credit," VU Head Coach Cathy Swezey said. "They played a good game. But I thought our team showed a lot of character to step up and beat a solid game plan."
In goal for the Commodores, freshman Natalie Wills made a career-high 14 saves. Wills has notched 12 or more saves in four of her last five games as Vanderbilt has won six straight.
"As coaches we are incredibly pleased with the job that Natalie is doing for us," Swezey said. "It's great to see the way she has stepped into the college game and excelled."
Giordano led all scorers with three goals and also contributed a game-high three ground balls and four draw controls.
"Cara had a great game," Swezey noted. "Our attack has been leading us offensively. When they're in sync, Cara has allowed them to run the show. But when the game was slowed down today she really took it upon herself to score goals."
Vanderbilt (8-3, 2-1 American Lacrosse Conference) will close out league play this weekend with a trip to Ohio State. The Commodores will then play host to Notre Dame for VU's Senior Day on Wednesday, April 15, at 3:30 p.m. CT.