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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 lacrosse’s AAC tournament ends with 16-11 loss to Temple.

Despite being the second seed in the American Athletic Conference tournament, the Commodores were unable to move on to the championship.
Following the conclusion of the American Athletic Conference Tournament, Vanderbilt will have to wait and see if they qualify for the NCAA Tournament. (Twitter/@VandyLacrosse).

Vanderbilt, the No. 2 seed in the 2021 American Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament, was defeated by the No. 3 seed Temple Owls 16-11 in a win-or-go-home matchup Thursday night in Gainesville. The two teams met twice this season in Nashville with each team taking a game. In their last matchup on April 25, the Commodores won 10-6

The Commodores got on the board first when senior First Team All-AAC midfielder Cassidy Orban found the back of the net just under five minutes into the game. It wasn’t long until the Owls knotted things up though, as senior midfielder Bridget Whitaker scored just two minutes later.

For the next nine minutes, Temple controlled most of the possession. The Owls scored two more unanswered goals, extending their lead to 3-1 with 14:47 remaining in the first half. 

Senior attacker Gabby Fornia—another Commodore named First Team All-AAC—stopped the Owls’ momentum, as she forced her way to the net and beat Temple’s junior goalkeeper Shana Hecht to cut the Owls’ lead to one.

Temple scored three unanswered goals to extend its lead to 6-2, and it wasn’t until 4:49 remained in the half that Orban scored her second goal of the match to bring Vanderbilt within three goals.

Senior attacker Elizabeth Scarrone found the back of the net on a free position goal just under a minute later, making the score 6-4. However, the Owls ended the half with two unanswered goals, putting them up 8-4 after 30 minutes.

The Commodores had 12 turnovers and committed 16 fouls in the first half.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” Vanderbilt head coach Beth Hewitt said at halftime. “We just have to play the way we’ve played all year.”

To start the second half, the Owls showed that they were not satisfied with their four-goal lead. They scored four unanswered goals and quickly put themselves up 12-4 with just over 22 minutes remaining. 

After Temple’s sophomore midfielder Belle Mastropietro scored her third goal of the game to put the Owls up eight, Coach Hewitt made a goalkeeper change for Vanderbilt, replacing sophomore and Second Team All-AAC selection Paige Gunning with freshman Lexie de Roziere. 

Just under 10 minutes into the second half, the Commodores finally found the back of the net, courtesy of Orban’s third goal of the game.

Down 12-5, the Commodores built on their momentum, as junior midfielder and First Team All-AAC selection Bri Gross scored less than a minute later, cutting the lead to six.  

The Owls responded quickly, however. Within a span of just over a minute, they scored two unanswered goals, extending their lead to 14-6 and prompting Coach Hewitt to put Gunning back in at goalkeeper for de Roziere. 

De Roziere finished without any saves but gained valuable tournament experience for the future. 

 Temple extended its lead to 15-6 with 17:10 remaining before sophomore midfielder Kayla Rieu and Orban each found the back of the net for Vanderbilt, making the score 15-8. 

The teams traded one more goal to make it 16-9 in favor of Temple with 7:27 remaining.

To round out the scoring, Gross scored her second of the day and Orban scored her fifth, making the score 16-11, the eventual final.

Gunning finished with eight saves on 21 shots for the Commodores. 

The main stat separating the two teams was fouls: Vanderbilt finished with 26 whereas Temple finished with just nine. 

The Commodores’ loss concludes their season and makes their record 12-6 on the year. This year’s team tied Commodore teams from 2004 and 2019 for most all-conference honorees (7) in program history. They will now wait to see if they qualify for the 2021 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament which will be announced on Sunday.

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About the Contributor
Andy Carr
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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