Vanderbilt finishes nonconference schedule with 20-13 win over Kennesaw State.

Vanderbilt wrapped up its nonconference schedule with a big 20-13 win over Kennesaw State on Wednesday afternoon.


The Commodores moved to 5-2 on the year following their win over Kennesaw State.(Twitter/@VandyLacrosse).

Andy Carr, Staff Writer

Following a gritty win against High Point this past Sunday, the Vanderbilt Commodores built on their momentum, winning their third straight game by defeating the Kennesaw State Owls 20-13 Wednesday afternoon. 

In the ninth meeting between Vanderbilt and Kennesaw State, the Commodores were paced by four goals from junior attacker Callie Sundin, three goals and three assists from senior midfielder Cassidy Orban and an overall dominant offensive performance that led to 12 different players finding the back of the net. The Commodores lead the all-time series 9-0, and they have now defeated the Owls once each season since 2013.

 To start the game, senior midfielder Marissa Gore won the opening draw control for Kennesaw State and the Commodores and Owls subsequently traded possessions for the first four minutes of the game. It wasn’t until 25:57 remained in the first half that senior attacker Gabby Fornia made it 1-0 for the Commodores. 

For roughly the next six and a half minutes, the Commodores got the scoring going. Sophomore midfielder Mikela McCauley, junior attacker Maddie Souza and junior midfielder Bri Gross all found the back of the net, extending Vanderbilt’s lead to 4-0 with 19:14 left in the first half. 

With 17:40 remaining in the first half, the Owls finally got on the board, courtesy of senior midfielder Siena Gore. The Commodores responded with three straight goals from Gross, Sundin and senior attacker Elizabeth Scarrone, making it 7-1 with 11:29 left in the first half. 

Over the next four minutes, Vanderbilt and Kennesaw State traded two goals each, making the score 9-3. Junior attacker Jaxsyn Schonewille for the Owls cut the lead to 9-4, but the Commodores quickly responded, as Sundin scored on an assist from Fornia to make it 10-4. On the play, Fornia set the Vanderbilt school record with 89 career assists. About three minutes later, Sundin scored once more to make the lead 11-4 for the Commodores going into halftime. 

Vanderbilt kept their foot on the gas to start the second half, as Souza found the back of the net 1:29 into the second half and Orban scored just 21 seconds later, quickly building the lead to 13-4. Over the next minute and a half, the Commodores and Owls each exchanged a goal, making it 14-5. 

Vanderbilt and Kennesaw State each traded two goals over the next five minutes, which led to Vanderbilt being up 16-7. The continued dominance by the Commodores prompted Vanderbilt head coach Beth Hewitt to replace sophomore goalkeeper Paige Gunning—who had five saves on 12 shots—with freshman goalkeeper Lexie de Roziere with 23:25 remaining in the second half. 

The rest of the second half was filled with a whole lot of scoring. The closest Kennesaw State came was when they cut the lead to 18-13 with 5:52 remaining in the game after Gore’s fifth goal of the contest. The Commodores finished the game with back-to-back goals from sophomore midfielder Kayla Rieu, leading to a final score of 20-13. 

De Roziere was a key part to the Commodores never letting the Owls get within more than five goals, as she saved seven of the 13 shots she faced. In addition, Gross and Souza had strong games with two goals and two assists each and Fornia ended the day with three assists, making her the all-time leader for Vanderbilt in assists with 91 overall. 

The Commodores’ 20-13 win improves their record to 5-2 and a perfect 5-0 at home. Wednesday’s matchup against Kennesaw State was their last non-conference matchup, as they begin conference play on Mar. 19 when they travel to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats.