Florida Drops Decision to No. 9 Vanderbilt in Home Finale

Gainesville, Florida - The University of Florida lacrosse team lost 12-7 against No. 9 Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville. Freshman attacker Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) led the team with three goals on the day in the Gators' final home game of their inaugural season.

The Gators (9-6, 1-3 ALC) held a 6-5 lead with 10:19 to play, but Vanderbilt (11-3, 4-0 ALC) pulled away late in the second half by controlling the draw and finishing their opportunities during a 7-1 scoring run to end the game.

"The draw controls were the turning point of the game," said head coach Amanda O'Leary. "We won draw controls as a total, but it was that run that we lost four in a row that was costly."

The opening half was back-and-forth throughout. Carter Foote got the visiting team on the board first nearly three minutes into the game, but Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) and Caroline Cochran (Annapolis, Md.) netted back-to-back goals to give UF their first lead of the game.

Vanderbilt's Ally Carey tied the game at two, then scored again to give the Commodores the lead with 4:50 remaining in the half. Less than a minute later, Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) scored her 25th goal of the season to even the score at 3-3. Katherine Decker fired a shot into the net with just over a minute on the clock to give VU a 4-3 lead at the break.

Foote opened the second half with a goal to push the lead to two, but UF responded with three-straight goals. Colby Rhea (Abingdon, Md.) pulled Florida within one, then Bruns scored twice to give the Gators a 6-5 lead with just over 10 minutes to play.

The Commodores responded within 30 seconds as Carey tied the game at 6-6. Vanderbilt then took a two-goal lead on back-to-back goals from Foote and Denkler. Bruns cut the lead back to one, but Florida could never get any closer. VU ended the game with four-straight goals.

"We had a poor shooting day," said O'Leary. "You have to put the ball in the back of the net. We had multiple opportunities; we had 25 shots, 15 in the first half. You have to score more than seven goals when you have those numbers of shots."

The Gators totaled 25 shots and 17 shots on goal, but Vanderbilt goalie Natalie Wills was solid between the pipes with 10 saves. Florida recorded more ground balls (16 to 12) and draw controls (12 to 9) for the game and only allowed one free position goal in five attempts by the Commodores. Dashiell had a season-high six ground balls and controlled five draws.

Foote and Carey each finished with four goals for Vanderbilt, while Denkle had two goals and three assists.

Florida will take two weeks off before traveling to Evanston, Illinois to face defending national champion Northwestern (12-1, 2-0 ALC) in their regular season finale on May 2 at 1:00 p.m.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. The No. 9 Commodores' second half surge proved to be too much for Florida, as Vanderbilt (11-3, 4-0) won the first ever meeting between the two schools, 12-7. With the win, the Commodores extended their school-record winning streak to ten games. Senior Carter Foote and sophomore Ally Carey led the 'Dores with four goals each.

"Our defense and goaltending were amazing today," said Commodore Head Coach Cathy Swezey. "Our whole team is riding a wave based on hard work and preparation. As coaches we are really proud of them."

Foote opened the game with a goal at the 27:05 mark in the first half, giving Vanderbilt an early 1-0 lead. The Gators responded with two goals of their own, as Caroline Chesterman and Caroline Cochran each scored to put the Gators up 2-1. Vanderbilt's Carey then added two goals to give the 'Dores a 3-2 advantage. The two teams exchanged another pair of goals before halftime with Vanderbilt hanging on to a 4-3 lead.

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