NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 12th-ranked Vanderbilt University women's lacrosse team scored the first five goals of the game en route to Wednesday evening's 11-6 non-conference victory against the University of New Hampshire at Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex.
UNH, which entered the game with a three-game winning streak, is now 4-3 with all three losses at the hands of nationally-ranked teams. Vanderbilt improved to 5-3.
The Wildcats were led offensively by Amber Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.), Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and Jenny Simpson (New Canaan, Conn.) with two points apiece. Simpson scored two goals while both Casiano and Keagins finished with a goal and an assist. Keagins was also credited with two ground balls and two draw controls.
Kathleen O'Keefe (Chatham, N.J.) was credited with seven saves and four ground balls. Also of note on defense, Allie Duclos (South Windsor, Conn.) tallied five ground balls, four caused turnovers and two draw controls. Ally Stager (Reading, Mass.) had four GB, two CTO and two DC. Casey Doyle (Ivyland, Pa.) finished with four GB, two CTO and one DC.
Vandy was led by Ally Carey (3g, 3a), Emily Franke (1g, 3a) and Katherine Denkler (3g). Natalie Wills stopped five shots.
Carey gave the Commodores an early 1-0 lead with a goal at 28:43, then Franke struck at 26:05. Hannah Clark pushed the advantage to 3-0 at 22:15 and Kelly Connors scored 66 seconds later. Denkler's goal at 19:52 pushed the margin to 5-0.
Chelsea Cyester (Parker, Colo.) scored an unassisted goal – her second of the season – at 18:29 to trim the deficit to four goals.
Neither team scored for nearly seven minutes before Denkler potted her second goal of the game at 11:32 to give Vandy a 6-1 advantage.
Duclos extended her goal-scoring streak to four games with a tally at 10:54, then Casiano finished off a feed from Keagins to pull UNH within 6-3 at 9:05.
Clark scored again at 2:28 to close the first-half scoring and give the Commodores a 7-3 lead at the half. Vandy also had the advantage in both shots (17-5) and ground balls (16-8) through 30 minutes, but the Wildcats had a 10-1 edge in draw controls.
The Commodores scored three times in the opening five minutes of the second half to build a commanding 10-3 lead. Carey opened the spurt at 28:39 and was followed by Denkler at 27:36 and Kendall Pittinger at 25:37.
Simpson converted a pass from Casiano into a goal at 24:10 to quickly reduce the deficit to six goals, and then her unassisted goal lifted the 'Cats within 10-5 at 13:42. Carey scored her third goal of the game 34 seconds later, however, to quiet UNH's comeback. Keagins potted a goal at 6:29, but Wills stopped all three shots she faced the rest of the way to preserve Vandy's victory.
The Commodores recorded a 32-13 shot advantage as well as a 28-21 edge in ground balls. UNH had a 13-6 advantage in draw controls, but for the first time this season the Wildcats committed more turnovers than the opponent, 24-18.
New Hampshire concludes its stretch of four games in four cities in four days March 18 against Presbyterian at Frank Fillman Football Stadium at Lassiter High School (Marietta, Ga.). The Wildcats' next home game is April 6 (4 p.m.) against Boston University.