NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Vanderbilt lacrosse team wrapped up the 2016 season falling in a 7-6 barnburner to the Villanova Wildcats on senior day. With the loss, VU closes out the year with a 5-11 overall record and 1-6 conference slate.
Prior to the start of the competition, head coach Cathy Swezey and the Commodore squad honored their eight seniors; Kelly Chandler, Emma Dagres, Ashlin Dolan, Alexa Kunowsky, Amanda Lockwood, Mallory Schonk, Annie Vreeland and Sarah Wilcox, for their outstanding leadership and commitment to the lacrosse team.
While it was senior day, freshman Julie Blaze brought the heat into Sunday's competition, establishing her second hat trick on the season while competing in every game this year. The freshman phenom, who leaves teams in her trail, ends her debut campaign with 12 goals, 23 shots, 14 points, two assists, eight draw controls, and nine caused turnovers.
VU began the game striking in the first 50 seconds of the contest, senior Schonk scored her final goal for the black and gold shooting past Nova goalie, Julia Michaels, off an assist by Jill Doherty.
Doherty was back at it again, scanning the Commodore offense and finding Kunowsky open for the 2-0 Vandy lead. Doherty, a junior, earned her final assist of the season, leading the team with 21.
The wildcats strung together a 3-0 run, which was kicked off by a free position goal by Denihan and followed by a unassisted goal by leading scorer, Jackie Froccaro. Nova's Henderson took the 3-2 lead less than two minutes later at 17:53.
VU earned the lead heading into the locker room with Kunowsky's final career goal tying the matchup and Blaze securing the 4-3 lead in the Sunday matinee.
Villanova tied the game once again at 16:10, as Catherine Bendinelli scored off free position. The squad's exchanged goals once more, with Vandy taking the 6-5 advantage with 3:05 left in the competition.
The second half was riddled with missed opportunities for the Commodores as both Dagres and Doherty had shots, which ricocheted off the crossbar and post. The misses and turnovers would add up in the final score as the Wildcats connected to tie the score, 6-6.
Looking like the game was headed in the direction of overtime for the first home game this season, the Commodores turned the ball over with Villanova nabbing the tiebreaking goal, 7-6, with only mere seconds left.
Junior Callahan Kent closed out her outstanding junior season playing 960 minutes, and earning her 156th save for the Commodores. Kent had seven saves against Nova, with eight double-digit save games.