Commodores Take Down No. 12 Notre Dame

Vanderbilt overcomes early deficit for upset win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt overcame an early deficit to take down No. 12 Notre Dame 14-12 Saturday at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex.

The Fighting Irish jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Commodores settled in to knock off their second ranked opponent at home in as many seasons.

Ellie Hilsabeck led the way with four goals, a career high for the sophomore, and Paige Gunning had another stellar performance in the net, finishing with 11 saves.

Trailing by four in the first quarter, freshman Josie Ward scored her first collegiate goal to put Vandy on the board. Gabby Fornia and Maddie Souza each got in the scoring column in the first quarter as well, but Notre Dame held a 6-3 advantage after the first 15 minutes.



“It took us a little time to settle in and then we shook it off and played our lacrosse,” head coach Beth Hewitt said.

Vanderbilt outscored Notre Dame 11-4 the rest of the way. Freshman Molly Finlay’s first collegiate goal cut it to 6-4, and goals by Karlie Bucci and Hilsabeck pulled the Dores even with less than four minutes to play in the first half.

Notre Dame scored late in the quarter to take a 7-6 lead into the break, but that would be the last time Vanderbilt trailed in the contest.



Fornia’s second goal of the game with 10:36 left in the third quarter gave Vandy its first lead as Vanderbilt took a 10-9 advantage into the final period.

Hilsabeck completed her hat trick early in the fourth but Notre Dame didn’t go away without a fight.



The Irish pulled within one at 11-10 and again at 13-12 with less than five minutes to go.

Hilsabeck’s fourth goal with 1:27 on the clock secured the win.

Saturday’s victory snapped a five-game losing streak to Notre Dame, a stretch that dated back to 2011. It was Vanderbilt’s third win over a ranked opponent in Hewitt’s four seasons, all coming at home in Nashville.



Vanderbilt, which is receiving votes in the IWLCA/ILWomen Division I poll, will travel to Elon on Friday before heading west to face Colorado on March 4 and No. 15 Denver onMarch 6.

Vandy’s next home game is March 11 against No. 24 Massachusetts.

Vanderbilt 14, #12 Notre Dame 12 by Vanderbilt Athletics on on Exposure