March 3, 2014
Abby Wheeler’s career day on Sunday helped the Vanderbilt lacrosse team upset one of the nation’s top teams.
One day later, the senior captain is earning national recognition.
Wheeler was named the WomensLax.com Player of the Week on Monday after she scored a career-high seven goals, including two goals in overtime, in a 16-15 overtime victory over then-No. 13 Stanford on Sunday on the road.
The seven goals were the second-most in a single game by a Vanderbilt player and one shy of the program record of eight set by Sue Napolitano on March 25, 1996 against Virginia Tech in the first year of the program. Wheeler, a native of Charlottesville, Va., was a perfect seven-for-seven on shot attempts and doubled her season scoring total in one game. Wheeler, who scored 28 goals last year, now leads the team with 14 goals. She also added an assist and a draw control for a total of eight points.
Wheeler broke her previous career-high of four goals set last year. She scored twice in the last 34 seconds of overtime to complete the comeback. Her game-winning goal came with 15 seconds remaining. She also scored the first of five straight goals by the Commodores (3-2), who overcame a five-goal deficit to win their first game against a ranked opponent since April 1, 2012.
“Those are definitely kind of moments you spend a lot of time hoping you’ll get to – just being in overtime,” Wheeler said on Sunday. “Mallory Schonk (who tied a career high with five assists) was great behind the cage, setting me up to score. Everyone did their job and the plays ran smoothly. It was just such an overall offensive effort. Everyone contributed to make (Sunday’s) win possible.”
Wheeler’s performance and the team’s tremendous comeback were well noticed. The Commodores are now receiving votes in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).
Vanderbilt returns to action at 3 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday at Denver (2-1). The Pioneers were previously ranked 18th in the IWLCA rankings but dropped out, though they are still receiving votes, after losing to Louisville 12-7 on Saturday.