The Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team scored the first three goals of the game and never looked back, coasting to a 14-9 victory over the visiting Yale Bulldogs Saturday at the VU Lacrosse Complex.
The Commodores dented the scoreboard first when Kendall Thrift scored on a pass from Kate Hickman in the second minute of play. Thrift would finish with a game-high five goals on the day.
Vanderbilt struck again just over a minute later on a free-position goal from Hickman, making the score 2-0 with 27:55 to go in the half. The 'Dores would go on to score seven of the next 10 goals, taking a 9-3 lead into halftime.
The Commodores came out of the gate quickly in the second half, when Jennifer Tapscott put in one of her 3 goals on the day with just 39 seconds gone by. The Bulldogs would strike back just over a minute later on a goal from Lauren Taylor, cutting the deficit to six. Taylor led Yale with four goals on the day.
Less than a minute later the Commodores would answer back on yet another goal from Thrift, making the score 11-4 in the 33rd minute. The Commodore advantage never shrank lower than four goals in the second half.
The game was all but won in the first half by a Commodore defense that held Yale to just nine shots in the first 30 minutes, while the offense posted 21 in the half. Vanderbilt also won the draw control battle, 16-9.
"We've been watching them get better everyday," Head Coach Cathy Swezey said of her team's defense. "The defense stayed consistent and the attack really picked it up. We played our best game of the year against a very good Yale team," added Swezey, whose team is now 3-3 on the season.
Thrift was not the only Commodore who had a stellar offensive performance. Both Hickman and Jennifer Tapscott scored three goals on the day, while Margie Curran scored once and chipped in four assists. Other goal scorers for Vanderbilt included Ashley Paschall and Nicole Pugno.
On the defensive side, Molly Frew, Cara Giordano and Sasha Cielak each caused two turnovers on the day, while Brooke Shinaberry made nine saves.
The Commodores next game will be against New Hampshire on Tuesday, March 14 at 3 p.m. CT at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex.