NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Labor Day may be a holiday for most people but not to the Vanderbilt lacrosse team.
The Commodores held their first practice of Fall Ball this Labor Day afternoon on a sunny day in Nashville. The ‘Dores return seven starters from the 2017 squad that went 6-9 and finished seventh in the BIG EAST Conference.
With 22 letterwinners back and a senior class of nine, the Commodores and coach Cathy Swezey are looking forward to the season, which is still five months away.
“It was a great first practice,” said Swezey. “You always want an enthusiastic first day and we 100 percent go that. I think one of the things that stood out to me was how coachable they were. We are trying to take things slow this fall with a young team and to really break down fundamentals and when you see your players immediately implement them, it is a positive sign."
The 2018 squad will also have a youth infusion, as Swezey welcomes 11 freshmen to the team, her largest incoming class during her 21 years at Vanderbilt. The mix of experience and youth will give the Commodores depth at every position, which Swezey is excited to see play out during the fall camp and leading up to the season.
“We are going to need the depth,” stated Swezey. “With the free movement rule that has changed, I anticipate a lot more subbing. So I hope a lot of people are ready to step on the field and take advantage of that.”
In addition to practicing over the next six weeks, the Commodores will face multiple tests this fall. The ‘Dores will compete in three play day tournaments over the next few weeks. The first play day will be this Sunday on campus as teams such as Louisville, Kennesaw State, Alabama-Huntsville and Lindenwood will make the trip to Nashville for the all-day competition.
The Dores then hit the road a few weeks later on Sept. 30, as they head up to Louisville for a play day tournament. Finally to close out the fall season, the Commodores will head east to Navy over Fall Break. They will take part in the Navy play day tournament Oct. 15-16.