No. 10 Vanderbilt Runs by Florida in ALC Semifinals

Columbus, Ohio-The University of Florida lacrosse team ended their season on Friday with a 16-9 loss to No. 10 Vanderbilt in the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament semifinals at Jesse Owens Memorial in Columbus, Ohio. The Gators finished their inaugural season with a 10-8 record, including three wins over ranked opponents.

The turning point of the game came in the first 10 minutes of the second half, when Vanderbilt (12-4) built a 10-goal lead and squashed any hopes of a second upset for the Gators in the tournament.

Ashley Bruns (Ellicott City, Md.) got the Gators on the board just 33 seconds into the game, but Vanderbilt scored five unanswered goals over the next 20 minutes to take a 5-1 lead. The Commodore's Sarah Downing had two goals and an assist in the scoring run that was capped by a goal from Katherine Denkler at the 9:58 mark of the first half.

After forcing a turnover in the midfield, Haydon Judge (Chestertown, Md.) raced toward the goal and dished a pass to Janine Hillier (Farmingdale, N.Y.), who fired a shot past VU goalie Natalie Wills to cut the lead back to three goals with 5:52 remaining before halftime. Hannah Clark added one more goal and Vanderbilt took a 6-2 lead into the locker room at the break.

Allie Frank extended the Commodore lead just 11 seconds into the second half, but Caroline Chesterman (South Nyack, N.Y.) was able to answer with a free position goal at the 26:42 mark. The Gators would never get closer than four goals for the remainder of the game, as Vanderbilt used a 6-0 scoring run in the first 10 minutes after the break to pull away and end Florida's hopes of a second upset in two days.

Brittany Dashiell (Bel Air, Md.) ended the scoring run after finishing a pass from Chesterman with 16:28 to play, then Chesterman added another free position goal to pull within 13-5 just over midway through the final half. Over the final 17 minutes the Gators outscored Vandy 6-3, but it wouldn't be enough in the end.

Chesterman led the Gators with five points on three goals and two assists, while Cullen finished with three goals on the day. Bruns, Dashiell and Hillier each added one goal. Dashiell tied a season-high with six draw controls.

Six players had two goals apiece for Vanderbilt, and Ally Carey had seven draw controls in the game. Goalie Natalie Wills made 11 saves in the game. The Commodores advance to the ALC Championship at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday to face No. 2 Northwestern, 15-9 winners over Penn State.

2010-05-07



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