April 13, 2012
The 17th-ranked Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team closes out its 2012 American Lacrosse Conference slate by traveling to Gainesville to face fifth-ranked Florida on Saturday, April 14. The opening draw is scheduled for 11:06 a.m. CT and the game will be televised by Fox Sports Florida.
Vanderbilt (7-5, 1-3 ALC) is looking to bounce back from a tough 13-11 home loss to league-rival Ohio State last weekend. Senior Alex Priddy scored four goals, including a natural hat-trick in the second half, to bring the Commodores within striking distance of the Buckeyes, but the rally fell short in the closing minutes.
Florida (13-2, 3-0) kept its perfect conference record intact last week at Johns Hopkins, but just barely. The Gators tied the game with seven seconds remaining in regulation before earning the win a sudden-victory goal in the 67th minute of action. Florida has won nine straight games since a double OT loss to Syracuse.
Vanderbilt holds a 2-1 lead in the series. In 2010, the Commodores defeated the Gators twice in a three-week span, winning in Gainesville in April before ending the Gators' inaugural season in the ALC Tournament semifinals in Columbus, Ohio. Last year, the Gators walked out of Nashville with an 8-7 victory--one of three one-goal losses the Commodores' suffered over their final four games of 2011.
All-time Series (VU leads 2-1)
Apr. 18, 2010 at Florida (W, 12-7)
May 7, 2010 vs. Florida (W, 16-9)
Apr. 17, 2011 vs. Florida (L, 7-8)
Notes from the road
Prior to departing from the McGugin Center this morning, the team started the trip off with some positive vibes, watching a highlight tape of big moments from the season. After the video presentation, the group loaded up a Gray Line bus and headed down West End.
The bus pulled up to Nashville International Airport the prescribed 90 minutes ahead of Southwest's 11:40 a.m. flight to Jacksonville. The Nashville-Southwest partnership is one that the lacrosse team takes advantage of quite often. Already this season, the Commodores had flown to Raleigh-Durman (UNC), San Jose (Stanford) and Manchester (New Hampshire) on Southwest, with a trip next week coming to Notre Dame by way of Chicago's Midway Airport. And of course, a number of the girls regularly head home through Baltimore-Washington International.
After a quick 65-minute flight that included a shout-out from the flight attendant upon arrival, the squad loaded the bus to being the journey to UF's Dizney Stadium for practice. The bus stopped on the way for lunch at a Firehouse Subs, where the highlight was a Coca-Cola "Freestyle" fountain with innumerable drink options. The girls stayed fairly tame--large quantities of sugary soda do not necessarily go with performing athletic activities--but there were still plenty of options for customizing an otherwise boring water.
Vanderbilt is scheduled for a 90-minute session on the practice field in Gainesville before heading to an outdoor dinner at a fine local establishment. Bed is likely in order soon after, as the 12:06 local time game time means early wake-up calls for all.
If you can't make it to Gainesville or catch the regional TV broadcast, be sure to follow the team tomorrow on Gametracker.