No. 12 Commodores End Slide, Hold off No. 17 Blue Jays

NASHVILLE - Senior Kacie Connors had a game-high six points and No. 12 Vanderbilt defeated No. 17 Johns Hopkins, 14-11, Sunday in American Lacrosse Conference action at the VU Lacrosse Complex.

After the Blue Jays pulled within a goal at 11-10 with 15 minutes to play, Connors assisted on an Alex Priddy breakaway goal before scoring two of her own to ice the game. Connors finished with four goals and two assists for a career-high six points just four days after putting together a five-point performance at New Hampshire.

The game was tightly contested throughout, with the Commodores never building more than a three-goal advantage. Hopkins actually grabbed an early lead when Rachel Ballatori scored three straight to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 edge. That marked the only time Vanderbilt would trail.

The Commodores answered with four consecutive goals from four different players--senior Ally Carey, junior Carly Linthicum, senior Hannah Clark and Kacie Connors. The Blue Jays were able to tie the game, but a late goal from Carey gave VU a 7-6 advantage at the break.

Vanderbilt led for the entire second half. Priddy and fellow senior Kendall Pittinger each had two goals in the second half, while Carey capped off her hat-trick. Senior goalkeeper Natalie Wills made five of her eight saves in the second half for her fifth win of the season.

The Commodores held a 16-11 advantage in draw controls, led by Carey's season-high of 10 draw controls.

The victory stopped a three-game losing slide for the Commodores while snapping Hopkins' four-game winning streak. Vanderbilt has now won seven straight over its conference rival and holds a 9-5 advantage in the all-time series.

The Commodores will stay at home for the next week, playing host to Presbyterian on Wednesday before facing another league opponent next weekend, Ohio State.

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NASHVILLE, TN - Host and 12th-ranked Vanderbilt scored a pair of late goals to hold on for a 14-11 win over 17th-ranked Johns Hopkins in the Blue Jays' ALC opener. The loss snaps the Jays' four-game win streak, as they slip to 7-3 overall. The Commodores, meanwhile, end a three-game skid to improve to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the ALC.

Vanderbilt took a quick two-goal lead over Hopkins with goals from Kacie Connors and Casey Bakker by the time the game was six minutes old. But Hopkins answered with a natural hat trick from senior Rachel Ballatori to put the Blue Jays on top 3-2.

Ballatori scored back-to-back hat tricks less than two minutes apart to tie the game with 20:21 to play. Just over four minutes later, sophomore Taylor D'Amore, from right goal line extended, fed a pass to Ballatori on the right post and she quick-sticked the pass past Natalie Willis to put JHU ahead.

This time it was Vanderbilt that answered with a run as the Commodores scored four unanswered, with three of those coming in a span of just 46 seconds. After some unsettled play in the Blue Jays' end, the 'Dores came up with the loose ball and Carly Linthicum threaded the needle on a pass to Ally Carey, who rifled home a shot to tie the game at 3-3 with 10:36 on the clock.

Seventeen seconds later, Linthicum was on the receiving end of a Bakker pass in transition as Vanderbilt went ahead 4-3. Hannah Clark made it three in a row for the 'Dores at 9:50 scoring off a nice feed from Connors. Connors then capped the run with a free position goal at 7:21 and the home team seemed to have all the momentum.

Three quick Hopkins goals brought the Blue Jays even with 5:03 to play in the opening half. Senior Candace Rossi dodged from behind the cage before finding classmate Colleen McCaffrey open in the slot. McCaffrey collected the pass, cradled and shot to end the 'Dores four-goal run.

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