May 7, 2010
View Box Score | Interview with Natalie Wills
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ten different Commodores scored goals on Friday as Vanderbilt (12-4) defeated Florida (10-8) in the ALC Semifinals at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, 16-9.
Ashley Bruns's goal in the first minute gave the Gators a quick 1-0 lead before the Commodores bounced back with five straight goals of their own, including two from senior Sarah Downing. The `Dores entered halftime up 6-2 after Hannah Clark's goal with 1:46 remaining in the first half.
The two teams exchanged goals at the opening of the second half before Vanderbilt put together another run with six unanswered goals to put the game out of reach. Sophomore Alex Priddy wrapped up the scoring for the `Dores with her with 0:54 remaining in the game.
"I don't think it was our best game, but we put together small pieces that were critical to put together," said Commodore Head Coach Cathy Swezey. "You saw some different kids scoring today and we were able to play a lot of players which I think will be really important going into tomorrow. I couldn't be more pleased to be playing in the championship and we hope to give Northwestern a good run."
Six Commodores had a team-high two goals scored, including Downing, Clark, senior Allie Frank, junior Katherine Denkler, senior Carter Foote, and sophomore Kendall Pittinger.
Downing passed Margie Curran (2005-2008) for first place on the Vanderbilt all-time career assists list with her second assist of the game to Katherine Denkler with 9:58 remaining in the first half. Her 28 assists this season give her 82 for her four-year career.
Defensively, the `Dores were led by sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Wills, who finished with 11 saves while only allowing nine goals. Sophomore Kacie Connors paced the team with three ground balls, while sophomore Ally Carey had a team-high two caused turnovers.
"This was a big win for us," said Wills. "Our offense was on fire and our defense held them tight"
Caroline Chesterman and Kitty Cullen each had three goals to lead the Gators.
Vanderbilt will return to action Saturday, May 8, when they face the No. 2 Northwestern Wildcats in the ALC Conference Tournament Championship. Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT.