April 15, 2014
With the final week of the regular season here, the Vanderbilt lacrosse team is determined to put the last two games in the win column.
That starts on Wednesday, when the Commodores host Jacksonville in the final home game of the season at the VU Lacrosse Complex. The game time has been moved up 30 minutes to 2:30 p.m. in order to accommodate Jacksonville’s travel plans back to Florida.
Though the team held its Senior Day more than a week ago before playing No. 17 Ohio State, this will be the last home game for seniors Brandi Byner, Alyssa Dunlap, Chelsea Lanzoni, Sarah Tustin and Abby Wheeler. The seniors and the rest of the team are looking to string together a pair of wins heading into the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament.
The Last Meeting
February 3, 2013
'Dores drop opener at Jacksonville
The Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team dropped its 2013 season opener Sunday, falling to homestanding Jacksonville by a 15-7 tally at JU's D.B. Milne Field.
The Commodores will hit the road to play new ALC member Michigan (2-11, 0-5) at noon on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich. With the ALC Tournament beginning on May 1, the Commodores, 1-4 in the ALC, are trying to improve their seeding for the seven-team tournament. It will be the end of an era as the ALC is dissolving after this season.
"I think we can be really successful against both of those teams and get that momentum going into the ALC Tournament," Wheeler told vandyradio.com on Monday. "We know at our chance at postseason play is doing well and going far at ALCs."
Jacksonville (9-5), out of the Atlantic Sun Conference, has won five of six. The Dolphins are led by Morgan Derner (31 goals and 12 assists) and Taylor McCord (25 goals and 20 assists).
VU and Jacksonville have met each of the last three seasons, with the Commodores holding a 2-1 advantage in the series. But the Dolphins were victorious last year with a 15-7 victory in the season opener.
“Jacksonville is a really physical team traditionally, so playing them is always a challenge,” Wheeler said. “It is a great opportunity for a win coming off a few ranked opponents who we played close games against but didn’t come out with a win.”
Vanderbilt (4-10) is coming off a 14-9 loss to No. 4 Florida on Sunday. It marked the team’s 11th game this season against a team currently ranked. The Commodores are riding a four-game losing streak, which includes three losses to ranked foes – all American Lacrosse Conference opponents – No. 17 Ohio State, No. 5 Northwestern and No. 4 Florida.
The tough strength of schedule hasn’t go unnoticed. Despite the two losses last week, Vanderbilt jumped seven spots in the NCAA RPI on Tuesday to No. 32.
Against the Gators, Vanderbilt battled back from an 8-2 deficit in the first half thanks to solid defense by senior Alyssa Dunlap and the back line and clutch goals and draw controls by the offense. The Commodores twice pulled within one goal in the second half before falling short in the final minutes. Wheeler scored twice in the game to up her team-leading season total to 30 goals. Amanda Lockwood and Mallory Schonk also added two goals.
“We’ve had a really tough schedule, which I think is good because when you do get those big wins it helps you in the polls,” Wheeler said. “We’ve gotten used to it. We’ve come out a lot more fearlessly in our last two games. They’ve been a lot closer.”
Wednesday’s game against Jacksonville will be streamed on vucommodores.com with a live broadcast from Vanderbilt students Max Herz and Allison Mast on the call. The game can also be heard on vandyradio.com and the Vandy Radio app.