NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt lacrosse wrapped up its most successful season in almost 10 years under first-year head coach Beth Hewitt.
The Commodores finished with a 10-6 record for their first 10-win season since 2010, when they went 12-6. Vanderbilt’s six wins at home this season marked its most in a season since winning six home games in 2012.
The Commodores jumped out to the best start in program history with their 7-1 start. The Dores won their first three games of the season by a combined 31 goals before winning two straight one-goal games during an undefeated start to the season.
"We made a lot of great steps as a program this year," head coach Beth Hewitt said. "As a staff we know that we are on the right track, but definitely not satisfied with where we ended the season. We are fortunate to get the opportunity to play as a team in Europe and compete against some of the best teams in the world. This is an incredible opportunity for growth as a young team."
After falling on the road in overtime against San Diego State on March 8, the Dores came back home to win back-to-back games by 26 total goals.
The Commodores featured one of the nation’s most high-powered offenses and defenses. They consistently ranked in the top five nationally in assists per game (8.71), caused turnovers per game (12.64) and points per game (23.93).
Vanderbilt averaged about three more assists per game and points per game compared to the 2018 season and almost two more caused turnovers.
Vanderbilt locked up the No. 4 seed at the AAC Tournament for its first postseason appearance since 2014. The Commodores would fall in the semifinals to eventual champion Florida.
In one conference game against UConn, Vanderbilt scored 22 goals to tie a program record for the second-highest single-game total in history. The Commodores scored 24 goals in a win over Kennesaw State in 2015.
"This season was the best way to end my four years with Vanderbilt lacrosse," senior captain Alex Rasmussen said. "From beating Louisville in overtime to making it to the conference tournament for the first time in years, it was really special. Each day everyone bought into what our new coaching staff was aiming to do."
Seven Vanderbilt lacrosse student-athletes finished the season honored on American Athletic all-conference teams.
Midfielder Julie Blaze and attacker Gabby Fornia represented Vanderbilt on the AAC first team, with Blaze garnering unanimous selection. The Commodores also tied for the most second-team selections of any AAC program with five: Melanie Becker, Sophie Furlong, Melissa Hawkins, Emily Mathewson and Halle Regan.
Fornia poured in her most productive season as a Commodore, leading the team in assists (36) and points (51). The sophomore also notched her 50th career assist in 31 games, becoming the fastest Commodore to accomplish that feat.
Blaze’s 122 career draw controls put her sixth all-time in the Vanderbilt record books, and her 100 career goals rank 14th in Vanderbilt history.
Meanwhile, senior captain Melanie Becker moved into 10th all-time with 101 career draw controls on the season.
"I'm so thankful I was able to play lacrosse at Vanderbilt," Becker said. "Vanderbilt lacrosse is truly one of a kind in every way and the gold standard for a quality of life that a student-athlete should have. I know this team is on the brink of doing great things, and I'm so proud to have been a part of it."
The Commodores took home eight Player of the Week honors during the season for the third-most among the AAC. The Commodores had one Attacker of the Week (Emily Mathewson), two Defenders of the Week (Lily Argyle and Melissa Hawkins) and five Freshman of the Week (Callie Sundin, twice Bri Gross and twice Maddie Souza).
“What makes Vanderbilt lacrosse so special is how close everyone is,” Rasmussen said. “We are all best friends on and off the field which makes fighting for the same goals easier. We truly are a family.”