March 1, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. - The Vanderbilt lacrosse team plays its third consecutive ranked opponent Saturday, traveling to face No. 7 Duke at Koskinen Stadium for a 1 p.m. CT start that will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3.
Saturday's game will be part of a men's and women's doubleheader in Durham. The Duke men face Maryland at 10 a.m. CT on ESPNU prior to the 1 p.m. CT start of the women's game on ESPN3.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Cathy Swezey is looking forward to kicking off the second month of the season against top competition.
"We are excited as a program to be playing another ranked opponent and we feel like our team is going to be ready to step up," VU Head Coach Cathy Swezey said. "Our defense has had an extraordinary year and we're really pleased with our goalkeeper. Although we've lost a few games, their performance has been great.
"On attack, Carly Linthicum is consistently scoring goals for us, but we need to see our offensive output spread out a bit more. We have a very strong game plan going into this game and we're ready to turn our season around."
Linthicum and goalkeeper Chelsea Pasfield are having outstanding beginnings to their senior campaigns. With 20 goals through the February 24 reporting deadline, Linthicum leads the nation in overall goals scored. Likewise, Pasfield is No. 1 in the NCAA in saves made, having stopped 54 shots through her four-and-a-half games played.
Both Vanderbilt and Duke are coming off losses last weekend. The Commodores fell to former-No. 1 Northwestern, while new-No. 1 Maryland knocked off the Blue Devils.
Vanderbilt defeated Duke last February, 7-5, when the Commodores opened their 2012 season in Nashville. That game marked the Blue Devils' lowest offensive output since a 2010 loss to North Carolina in the ACC semifinals.
Following Saturday's game the Commodores will take a mid-week trip up Interstate-65 to play at Louisville on Wednesday, March 6, at 12 p.m. CT. The Commodores return home the following week to play host to Notre Dame on Wednesday, March 13, at 3 p.m. CT at the VU Lacrosse Complex.