NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt lacrosse team earned a 10-6 bounce-back victory over visiting Temple on Sunday at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex to close the regular season. The win was the 12th this season for the Commodores, tying for the second-most in program history.
The Commodores (12-5, 7-3 AAC) earned a split of the regular season meetings with Temple (11-4, 7-3 AAC) after falling two days ago. With the victory, Vanderbilt clinches the second seed in the upcoming American Athletic Conference Tournament, while Temple will be the third seed.
Paige Gunning made 11 saves to anchor a strong defensive performance highlighted by six caused turnovers from Melissa Hawkins and three caused turnovers for Nicki Dadino.
“I thought the defense was unbelievable,” Vanderbilt head coach Beth Hewitt said. “Honestly, from Paige Gunning through all seven defenders including the midfielders, I don’t think there’s been a day where they were more bought into what we were doing and what the game plan was. I couldn’t be more proud of the group.”
Offensively, Cassidy Orban accounted for three goals and an assist with Gabby Fornia finishing with two goals and three assists, bringing her season total to 50 assists. Nellie Blaze added two goals in the victory.
Cassidy Orban completes the hat trick.
2nd » 19:00#AnchorDown pic.twitter.com/6kCX4iVKyF
— Vanderbilt Lacrosse (@VandyLacrosse) April 25, 2021
Trailing 2-1 in the early going, Vanderbilt closed the first half on a 4-0 run to take a 5-2 halftime advantage.
The Dores went on to outscore Temple by a 5-4 margin over the final 30 minutes for the four-goal victory. The Owls kept the Commodores within three goals for most of the second half but were never able to close the gap.
Vandy forced the Owls into 19 turnovers. The Dores also held a 29-21 edge on ground balls and outshot Temple, 29-20.
Vanderbilt and Temple will now square off again in the American Athletic Conference Semifinals on May 6 in Gainesville, Florida.