CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A five-goal surge in the second half doomed the Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team, as sixth-ranked North Carolina secured a 13-9 win Friday night at Fetzer Field.
Senior Kate Hickman led the Commodores with three goals, while sophomore Margie Curran had a team-high four points on one goal and three assists. North Carolina's Brooke Dieringer led all scorers with four tallies on the evening.
The Tar Heels scored the contest's first goal only :43 seconds into regulation, as Christina Juras' posted her first of three goals. Vanderbilt quickly answered, scoring two goals in just over a minute to take the 2-1 lead six minutes into the game. Junior Kendall Thrift had Vanderbilt's first goal, picking up a loose ball inside the arc and flipping it past UNC goalkeeper Kristen Hordy.
Vanderbilt's second goal came from Curran on a free position shot. On the evening, the Commodores turned eight free position shots in three goals, and also converted an eight-meter attempt when Curran assisted Hickman off a restart in the second half.
After the Commodores took the lead, North Carolina fought back to score two quick goals. The teams went 15 minutes without scoring again until the Tar Heels tallied their third straight goal to take a 4-2 lead. The teams would trade goals over the last seven minutes of the half, with Vanderbilt's scoring coming off free position shots by freshman Cara Giordano and junior Jennifer Tapscott.
Following the intermission, Vanderbilt came out on fire. Sophomore Ashley Paschall scored :47 seconds into the second half off a Curran assist. And less than :30 seconds later, a Paschall pass was deflected to Hickman, who rifled the ball into the back of the net to tie the score at 6-6.
The Carolina run that followed lasted 13 minutes before the Vanderbilt was able to find the scoreboard again. When Tapscott scored unassisted in the game's 45th minute, it brought Vanderbilt to within four at 11-7. Hickman would score on a Curran assist from behind the cage to get the Commodores within three goals, but a pair of tallies by Dieringer thwarted Vanderbilt's hope of a rally.
Hickman's final goal (and, subsequently, Curran's final assist), came with :51 seconds remaining in the game.
The Commodores fell despite winning both of the "hustle" categories -- ground balls and draw controls. Sophomore Leslie Koch came up with a game-high five ground balls, with Curran and junior Molly Frew each picking up three ground balls.
North Carolina had the first five draw controls of the night, but after Giordano picked up VU's first draw control in the eighth minute, the Commodores led the statistic, 12-6, the rest of the way. Sophomore Sasha Cielak came away with six draw controls, while also causing a pair of UNC turnovers.
In goal, sophomore Brooke Shinaberry made eight saves, including six in the first half. UNC's Hordy had nine saves on the evening.
"We had a lot of chances tonight," Head Coach Cathy Swezey said. "When you talk about playing a complete 60-minute game, this is a night where you would have liked to have put something like that together. We played well at times tonight, but our lapses were costly."
The Commodores return to Nashville next weekend to play host to their final homestand of the 2006 season as Ohio University (Friday, 5 p.m. CT) and Ohio State (Sunday, 12 Noon) visit the VU Lacrosse Complex for a pair of American Lacrosse Conference games.