Vanderbilt lacrosse defeats Mercer 15-10

Vanderbilt lacrosse bounced back from a loss at North Carolina this past weekend, as they took care of the Mercer Bears at home.


Vanderbilt lacrosse beats Mercer 15-10 on March 3, 2020. (Twitter/@VandyLacrosse)

Andy Carr, Staff Writer

Following a tough loss against No. 1 North Carolina this past Sunday, the Vanderbilt Commodores bounced back, as they defeated the Mercer Bears 15-10 Wednesday afternoon.

In the first-ever meeting between Vanderbilt and Mercer, the Commodores were paced by three goals by senior attacker Elizabeth Scarrone, strong defense and a balanced offensive attack that included nine Commodores finding the back of the net. 

 The Commodores got off to a dominant start early on. Junior midfielder Bri Gross controlled the game’s opening draw and Scarrone found the back of the net just one minute and 11 seconds into the game. Scarrone quickly extended the lead to 2-0 for the Commodores, as she followed up her first goal up with a highlight-reel, behind-the-back goal just over three minutes later. From there, Vanderbilt never looked back. 

The Commodores jumped to a 6-0 lead on their first seven shots of the game, prompting Mercer head coach Samantha Eustace to make a goalkeeper change and replace right-handed Isabel Cryne with left-handed Kathryn Vanderlinde. After the change, the Commodores scored once more to build their lead to 7-0 before the Bears finally found the back of the net, over 19 minutes into the first half. A gutsy performance by sophomore goalkeeper Paige Gunning, two goals from junior attacker Maddie Souza and Gross’ domination on the draw controls helped the Commodores cling to an 8-2 lead at the end of the first half. 

To start the second half, Coach Eustace put Cryne back in as the starting goalkeeper for the Bears. However, that didn’t stop the Commodores, as they started the second half in a similar fashion to the first. Gross controlled the opening draw and Scarrone scored just 39 seconds in, building the lead to 9-2. Vanderbilt was able to slow down Mercer’s attack in the second half and value possession on offense. The Commodores netted two more goals to make it 11-2, courtesy of senior midfielder Cassidy Orban and sophomore midfielder Paige Finneran, before the Bears were able to score their first goal of the half seven and a half minutes in, making it 11-3.

The Commodores scored twice more in the next three minutes with goals from sophomore attacker Lila Huddles and sophomore midfielder Mikela McCauley to make it 13-3 with a little over 19 minutes remaining. With a 10-point lead, the shot clock was turned off and Vanderbilt focused on slowing down the game and having a balanced effort on both sides of the ball. The Commodores and Bears traded goals over the next four minutes, as Vanderbilt led 14-4. However, over the course of the last 15 minutes of the game, Mercer scored six of the last seven goals, leading to a final score of 15-10.

The Commodores’ 15-10 win improves their record to 3-2 – with their only losses coming against the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country – and provides the team with some momentum heading into their home matchup on Sunday against High Point.