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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt falls to Temple 13-12 despite strong performances from Sundin, Gross and Gearhardt

The Commodores started off strong and led at halftime, but could not handle a furious comeback by the Owls.
Gabby Fornia plays defense against Temple on April 23, 2021. (Twitter/@VandyLacrosse)

Following two-straight losses at the hands of the ninth-ranked Florida Gators, the Vanderbilt Commodores lost 13-12 in a conference matchup against the Temple Owls Friday afternoon. 

The Commodores were paced by four goals from junior midfielder Callie Sundin and three goals each from junior midfielder Bri Gross and senior attacker Griffin Gearhardt. They started off strong and were up 9-6 at halftime, but a furious comeback from the Owls proved to be too much for the Commodores on a sunny afternoon in Nashville.

It didn’t take long for the Commodores to get on the board. Gross found the back of the net two minutes and 49 seconds into the game, and senior attackers Elizabeth Scarrone and Gearhardt quickly followed suit. With 23:22 remaining in the first half, the Commodores led 3-0.

The Owls put an end to the Commodores’ early momentum roughly two minutes later, as senior attacker Julie Schickling notched her first goal of the game, making the score 3-1. 

Vanderbilt, however, responded with three unanswered goals—two from Sundin and one from Gross. With a little over 13 minutes remaining in the half, the Commodores led 6-1.

In the next two minutes, Temple scored twice to cut Vanderbilt’s lead to three. The Commodores quickly extended their lead to five again, however, as Gearhardt and Scarrone each responded with their second goal of the game. With 5:18 left in the half, the Commodores led 8-3.

Two quick, unanswered goals from Temple cut the Owls’ deficit to three, and, in the final three minutes of the half, each team traded one more goal, making the score 9-6, in favor of Vanderbilt, going into halftime. 

The Commodores were led by strong first-half performances from sophomore goalkeeper Paige Gunning, who had six saves on 12 shots, as well as Gearhardt, who had three goals and two assists.

To start the second half, the Owls showed that they weren’t going away without a fight. They scored three unanswered goals, and with 20:07 remaining in the second half, the game was tied at 9-9. This marked the first time that Vanderbilt didn’t have the lead in over 37 minutes of play.

Junior midfielder Gabrielle Kirsch then scored the Owls’ fourth unanswered goal with 19 minutes left, giving Temple its first lead of the game.

After four minutes of strong defensive play on both sides, Gross scored her third goal of the day, tying the game at 10 with a little over 15 minutes remaining.

Sundin then became the third Commodore with a hat-trick on the day, scoring her third goal with 11:35 remaining in the game and putting the Commodores’ back in the driver’s seat, up 11-10. 

The Owls responded less than a minute later, though. They tied the game at 11 with 10:37 left in the game, prompting Vanderbilt head coach Beth Hewitt to replace Gunning at goalkeeper with freshman Lexie de Roziere. 

A little less than a minute after that, senior midfielder Jen Rodzewich found the back of the net, putting Temple up 12-11. From that point on, the Owls held onto their lead. 

Vanderbilt held the ball for the majority of the ensuing minutes, but was unable to score. After Temple re-controlled possession, Hewitt put Gunning back in at goalkeeper with 3:35 remaining. De Roziere finished with one save on two shots faced and Gunning would finish the day with 10 saves on 22 shots faced. 

With just 1:15 remaining, the Owls scored once again to increase their lead to 13-11.

In desperation mode, the Commodores relentlessly attacked the net in the final minute of the game. Sundin scored her fourth goal of the game, cutting the lead to one; however, it came too late, as just five seconds remained. 

Despite a strong effort, the Commodores fell to the Owls 13-12.

The Commodores’ loss makes their record 11-5 on the season and 6-3 in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). Up next, they conclude their regular season with a rematch against the Owls Sunday afternoon at 1:00 P.M. CT. 

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About the Contributor
Andy Carr, Former Assistant Sports Editor
Andy Carr ('22) was a student in the College of Arts and Science who studied economics with minors in business and computer science. In addition to writing, he enjoys running, playing golf and rooting for all D.C. sports. He can be reached at [email protected].
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