NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Elon women’s lacrosse team was not able to finish out a three-game road swing undefeated, falling for the first time this season, 10-9, after nearly finishing a furious comeback at Vanderbilt today, Feb. 28.
Trailing by five, 10-5, Maeve Cowley tallied her sixth score of the season before Sloane Kessler found Kelsey Dupere 31 seconds later to make it a three-score game, 10-7, with 2:49 remaining.
After a win at the draw by Shannon Horan, a shot by Kessler hit the post but Stephanie Asher was able to find the back of the net with under two minutes left to bring the maroon and gold within two, 10-8.
A caused turnover by Alexis Zadjura and ground ball pickup by Dupere led to a man-up goal by Asher with just 62 seconds left on the clock to close the gap to just one, 10-9. Elon’s Melanie McHugh won the ensuing draw but a turnover by the Phoenix allowed the Commodores to grab the ball and run out the clock.
The Phoenix (4-1) took 17 shots in the game, 15 of which were on goal, and claimed an 11-10 advantage at the draw. Elon finished 3-of-6 in clear attempts, tallied six ground balls and seven caused turnovers.
Asher posted a game-high four goals and also had two draw controls. Kessler netted three goals and had one assist to match Asher with four points on the day. Rachel Ramirez led all players with three ground balls and three caused turnovers, while also posting four saves in the game.
The Commodores (3-1) held the advantage in shots with 24 and ground balls with 11 and also finished a perfect 7-of-7 in clear attempts. Vandy saw three scores from Jill Doherty followed by two each from Kelly Chandler and Emma Dagres, while Dagres also had two assists. Callahan Kent had six saves on the day to claim the win in goal.
Asher got the Phoenix on the board at the 18:55 mark off a free-position goal for her 11th score of the season. The Commodores answered just over three minutes later to even the game, one-all, with 15:32 remaining.
The scoring picked up with 6:15 left in the half when Kessler netted a man-up goal for the maroon and gold followed by another score from VU’s Doherty to keep the game tied. After Zadjura won the ensuing draw, two Commodore fouls allowed Kessler to post her second of the day, and 12th of the season, with 3:18 on the clock to give the Phoenix a 3-2 lead at the break.
In the second half, Vandy claimed the momentum with six straight goals to take an 8-3 advantage with 10:20 remaining. Kessler stopped the Commodore charge at the 9:44 mark with her third goal of the game followed just over a minute later by another goal from Asher to pull the Phoenix within three, 8-5, with 8:38 to play.
VU netted two more goals to move back ahead by five, 10-5, with 6:40 left in the game before Elon’s 4-0 run to nearly complete the comeback.
After closing out the road trip this weekend, the Phoenix returns home to Rudd Field to host Albany on Friday, March 4. Opening draw is scheduled for 6 p.m.