April 10, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. – At one point, the Vanderbilt lacrosse team had attempted six shots and scored five times.
The problem was there weren't enough chances for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt suffered a 15-9 loss to No. 5 Northwestern on Thursday at Lakeside Field. The Commodores tied the game twice early but four straight goals gave Northwestern breathing room. Vanderbilt (4-9, 1-3 American Lacrosse Conference) never could pull even again and lost its third straight and seventh in the last eight games.
Despite winning the draw controls 14-12, Vanderbilt attempted just 18 shots. The Wildcats had 31 shots. Turnovers played a part as Vanderbilt committed 21 compared to Northwestern’s 14.
"Our team played much harder today," coach Cathy Swezey said. "Unfortunately we turned it over too much, which was probably the difference in the game. Hopefully, we will harness this intensity and carry it into our last three games and the ALC Tournament."
Jill Doherty and Alexa Kunowsky scored two apiece and Amanda Lockwood, Mallory Schonk, Abby Wheeler, Caroline Peters and Kelly Chandler added goals. Doherty, Wheeler, Peters, Chandler and Schonk each notched an assist. Goalkeeper Maddie Kratz made nine saves and has tallied 27 saves in the past three games.
The Wildcats scored first but Doherty, a freshman, responded with a nifty move to fake out Northwestern goalie Bridget Bianco and tie the game with 18:38 left in the half. Northwestern responded 35 seconds later to regain the lead. But the Commodores once again answered. Doherty fed Lockwood to tie the game at 2-2 with 12:35 before halftime.
But Kat DeRonda, who scored a career-high four goals, sparked a four-goal spurt to give Northwestern the lead for good. Kunowsky and Doherty scored within 52 seconds of each other to cut the lead to 6-4. But Northwestern regained momentum with two goals in the last three minutes of the half for a comfortable 8-4 lead at halftime.
Schonk scored the first goal after halftime. But again Northwestern responded – again with four straight goals for a 12-5 lead.
Northwestern (9-3, 3-1) won its fourth straight and is 13-0 against Vanderbilt since 2004.
The Commodores return to action on Sunday against No. 4 Florida in Gainesville, Fla.