April 20, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 13th-ranked Commodore women's lacrosse team defeated its second-consecutive Top 10 opponent this week, besting seventh-ranked Duke, 11-10, Sunday at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex.
For Vanderbilt (12-4, 3-1 American Lacrosse Conference), the win gave the 2008 squad a school record with 12 regular season victories. Prior to the game, Vanderbilt officials honored the 2008 senior class. All seven seniors would start and make significant contributions to the win.
"I'm so proud of the way our team played today," VU Head Coach Cathy Swezey said. "Since our mid-season slump, we have continued to improve every time we have played. That culminated in a great win today against a perennial power in Duke. For it to happen in our final home game of the season, on Senior Day, makes it that much sweeter."
Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Brooke Shinaberry continued her outstanding play. She made 12 saves on the afternoon, continuing her tear of saving more than half of the shots she has faced in seven of VU's last eight games. She has a save percentage of 55.1 percent in the second half of the year.
Seniors Margie Curran, Ashley Paschall and Leslie Koch all scored goals in the victory, with Curran leading the Commodores with five points on two goals and three assists. Freshman Katherine Denkler had the lone hat-trick for the Commodores, as seven players scored for a balanced VU attack.
Defensively, the senior trio of Sasha Cielak, Michele Slotke and Heather Koutrakos all had outstanding games. Cielak caused four Duke turnovers on the afternoon.
The Blue Devils (9-5) scored the first goal of the day only three minutes into the contest. Vanderbilt tied up the game one minute later when Denkler picked up a loose ball in the fan and beat Duke keeper Kim Imbesi. Sophomore Sarah Downing would give VU its first lead a minute later, scoring off an assist from Curran.
Two more goals from Davis gave Duke the lead back 10 minutes into contest, 3-2. Vanderbilt would score five of the next six goals to take a three-goal lead before Duke got one back near the end of the first half. The Commodores led by two at the half, 7-5.
Davis would score the first goal of the second half, her fourth of the day, to bring the Blue Devils within a goal. But the Commodores answered by scoring the next three to take their biggest lead of the game, 10-6. After a goal from junior Cara Giordano, Denkler picked up a draw control and found a wide open Paschall behind the defense. Curran's unassisted tally gave the Dores a four-goal advantage.
The Blue Devils got within a goal at 11-10, but numerous saves by Shinaberry and a successful stalling offense allowed the Commodores to keep their lead. Shinaberry made nine stops in the second half.
Vanderbilt won at No. 8 Notre Dame on Wednesday before beating seventh-ranked Duke today. The Commodores will have an off week before traveling to Evanston, Ill., for the 2008 ALC Tournament, hosted by Northwestern. As the No. 2 seed, Vanderbilt will play its first game on Saturday, May 3. Games between Johns Hopkins, Ohio State and Penn State next weekend will determine Vanderbilt's semifinal opponent.