March 3, 2018
The Game: Vanderbilt Lacrosse vs. William & Mary
The Time: Monday, March 5 at 1 p.m. CT
The Place: VU Soccer/Lacrosse Complex, Nashville, TN
The Broadcast: Facebook Live broadcast online at Facebook.com/VanderbiltAthletics
Vanderbilt lacrosse starts a busy week on Monday afternoon, welcoming William & Mary to Nashville and the VU Soccer/Lacrosse Complex at 1 p.m. The Commodores (3-1, 0-0 BIG EAST) finish up a three-game homestand against the Tribe (2-2, 0-0 Colonial Athletic) in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
The Commodores are coming off a 17-15 home loss to Louisville on Tuesday, when VU nearly forced overtime despite trailing by six goals with under eight minutes remaining. With five days between games, the team has built off that spirited comeback attempt in practice.
“They want to fix the little things that created the mistakes that put us behind, and just put in a better team performance,” Vanderbilt head coach Cathy Swezey said. “Watching film, picking it apart was relatively easy. I think, if we do some small things better, we’ll be in better shape next time.”
Senior attacker Kayla Peterson scored eight goals against Louisville, tying Sue Napolitano’s program-record for the most goals in a game. Napolitano set the record on March 25, 1996 vs. Virginia Tech in Vanderbilt’s first year of Division I lacrosse. Peterson has 21 goals through four games this season, leading the nation with 5.25 goals per game.
“She’s always shown the threat that she’s capable of being,” Swezey said about her senior scorer. “The cooler part about it, honestly, is that she’s been scouted every year for four years, and she still finds a way to score. She’s just that hard to stop. She’s got great hands inside and great vision for the cage.”
Monday afternoon’s contest starts a busy spring break for the Commodores, who will travel to Philadelphia to face La Salle on Thursday and St. Joseph’s on Sunday. Vanderbilt is 1-1 on their first homestand of the season, and looks to finish the stretch with a winning record against a new opponent in William & Mary.
“They show a couple of different looks defensively, so we’re not sure if we’ll see a zone or man-to-man,” Swezey said. “We have different offenses that we feel will work well against both of them. In terms of what they run on attack, they seem to have a lot of strong individual efforts and a couple players that are strong inside. If we match up what our players do well, I think we’ll be ok.”
Opening draw between Vanderbilt and William & Mary is 1 p.m. Monday afternoon in Nashville at the VU Soccer/Lacrosse Complex. Admission is free and the game will be broadcast on Facebook Live at Facebook.com/VanderbiltAthletics.
This is the first-ever meeting in lacrosse between Vanderbilt and William & Mary.
Scouting the Tribe
William & Mary comes to Nashville at 2-2 through their first four non-conference games. The Tribe have home wins over Longwood and Davidson, along with road losses to top 10 opponents No. 1 Maryland and No. 9 Virginia. Maddie Torgerson leads W&M with nine goals through four games, and Abby Corkum has a team-high five assists. Elsa Rall has started three out of four games in goal, including both Tribe wins.
Rewriting the Record Book
Senior attacker Kayla Peterson tied the Vanderbilt record for goals in a game on Tuesday when she scored eight times in a 17-15 loss to Louisville. Peterson matched Sue Napolitano’s record, set on March 25, 1996, against Virginia Tech in Vanderbilt’s first year of Division I lacrosse. Peterson was born 182 days later, on September 23, 1996. Peterson’s performance is the first eight-goal game in Cathy Swezey’s 21 years as Vanderbilt’s head coach, dating back to the 1998 season.
Blaze Earns Another BIG EAST Honor
Junior midfielder Julie Blaze was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for Week 3 of the 2018 season on February 27 after her five-point game against Furman on February 24. The award marks Blaze’s second career appearance on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll and her third conference honor of the season. Blaze was named BIG EAST Midfielder of the Week for Week 1 on February 13 and was Vanderbilt’s lone representative on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, as named by the league’s coaches in January. Vanderbilt has had a player named on all three editions of the BIG EAST Weekly Awards this season.
Leading the Nation
Vanderbilt’s offense is second nationally with 18.50 goals per game, trailing only Syracuse’s mark of 19.67 goals per game. Vanderbilt also leads the NCAA with 30.00 shots on goal per game and is second with 37.25 shots per game. Kayla Peterson leads Division One with 5.25 goals per game, and Emily Mathewson is tied for 24th in the nation with 3.75 goals per game.
Back on the Ballot
Vanderbilt was one of eight teams receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll that debuted on Monday, February 26 (Week 3). This is Vanderbilt’s first inclusion in the poll since April 2012, when the Commodores were ranked 19th in the final week of the regular season.
Fornia Earns BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Honor
Vanderbilt freshman attacker Gabrielle Fornia became the team’s second player in as many weeks to be honored by the BIG EAST on February 20. Fornia was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week for Week 2 of the season after her two-goal, two-assist performance in the Dores’ 22-12 win over Fresno State on February 19. Fornia’s two goals were her first as a collegiate player.
Mathewson’s Career Day
Sophomore attacker Emily Mathewson led the Commodore charge in Vandy’s 22-12 win at Fresno State on February 19, scoring a career-high six goals in the win and surpassing her previous mark of five, set against Villanova on March 17, 2017. The sophomore led the way in a very on-target game for Vanderbilt’s shooters, as 37 of the team’s 39 shots were on goal.
Blaze Named BIG EAST Midfielder of the Week
On February 13, junior midfielder Julie Blaze was named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Week for her Week 1 performance. Blaze scored six points (four goals, two assists) in Vanderbilt’s 18-14 win over Kennesaw State on Sunday, February 18. She filled up the stat sheet by claiming four draw controls and three ground balls in the tight road win. This was Blaze’s first career Midfielder of the Week award, adding to her honors of 2018 Preseason All-BIG EAST, 2017 first-team All-BIG EAST and one BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll in Week 1 of the 2017 season.
The Big East coaches picked Vanderbilt to finish sixth in the conference’s preseason poll, tied with Marquette for the sixth spot in the 10-team league. Midfielder Julie Blaze was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team.
BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches’ Poll:
1. Florida (9 first place votes)
2. Denver (1)
Vanderbilt Lacrosse Joining American Athletic Conference in 2019
The Vanderbilt lacrosse program announced in October that it will join the American Athletic Conference as an affiliate member for the league’s inaugural season of women’s lacrosse in 2019. Current BIG EAST members Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida and Temple will make the move with Vanderbilt, joining East Carolina–currently a D-1 independent–to comprise the six-team league.
Vanderbilt Lacrosse historic conference affiliation:
2019-: American Athletic Conference
2015-2018 (4 seasons): Big East Conference
2002-2014 (13 seasons): American Lacrosse Conference (founding member)
1996-2001 (6 seasons): No conference affiliation
Coach Cathy Swezey
Head coach Cathy Swezey is in her 21st season leading the Commodores. Swezey was hired as Vanderbilt’s second-ever women’s lacrosse head coach before the 1998 season. Her overall record as Vanderbilt’s head coach is 159-172, including six NCAA Tournament appearances and a national semifinals berth in 2004.
Set the Field A-Blaze
Junior Julie Blaze led Vanderbilt with 33 goals as a sophomore in 2017, becoming the first sophomore to lead the Commodores in goals since April Tellam, who scored 42 goals in 1999. Blaze also finished the year second on the team in points (38), fourth in caused turnovers (12) and draw controls (22) and fifth in ground balls (18), earning first-team All-BIG EAST honors.
Back in Black (And Gold)
The 2018 Commodores return 65% of the team’s goal scoring from last season, with just 62 out of 177 goals graduating from the program.
2017 Vanderbilt Goal Leaders (BOLD = Returning)
1. Julie Blaze, 33 goals
2. Jill Doherty, 31 goals
3. Kayla Peterson, 30 goals
4. Emily Mathewson, 17 goals
T-5. Caroline Peters, 16 goals
T-5. Melanie Becker, 16 goals
6. MacKenzie Lange, 13 goals
New Faces In Goal
Vanderbilt enters the 2018 season with a tandem of sophomore goalies. Redshirt sophomore Lily Argyle and true sophomore Madison Foglio with take over for graduated senior Callahan Kent. Both players saw their first collegiate action in 2017, with Argyle making three starts and seven appearances (1-1-0 record, 13.13 GAA, .395 save percentage) and Foglio making three starts and six appearances (1-2-0 record, 11.19 GAA, and .333 save percentage). The duo will combine to succeed three-year starter Callahan Kent, who posted a career record of 12-19-0 in 34 games during her Commodore career.
In 2017, the Dores were 5-0 when holding their opponent under 10 goals in a game and were just 1-9 when allowing 10 or more goals. Vanderbilt’s lone win when allowing double digit goals was a 14-12 win at Villanova on March 18, 2017. Vanderbilt is 1-0 in 2018 when holding their opponent under 10, and 2-1 when allowing double digit goals.
The 90-Second Effect
In the first season of play using the NCAA-mandated 90-second possession clock, Vanderbilt attempted 30.5 shots per game while holding opponents to just 27.4 shots per game. That total gave the Commodores their highest shots per game total since the 2010 season and marked the first time Vanderbilt outshot its opponents since 2013.
Vanderbilt lost all three one-goal games it played in 2017 and has lost six straight one-goal games dating back to the 2016 season. The Commodores’ last one-goal win was against Elon on February 28, 2016. Vanderbilt has not played an overtime game since April 8, 2015, a 10-9 double overtime home loss against Connecticut.