The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

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 opens 2023 season with 11-10 overtime win over Colorado

The Vanderbilt Commodores beat Colorado 11-10 in overtime on a Bri Gross winner.
Ophelia Lu
Bri Gross runs for a ground ball on Feb. 10 against Colorado (Hustler Multimedia/Ophelia Lu).

The Vanderbilt Commodores opened up their 2023 season with a 11-10 overtime victory against the Colorado Buffaloes. The game featured a golden goal by Bri Gross as well as a five-goal performance by Nancy Halleron.

“It was a total team win,” head coach Beth Hewitt said after the game. “Everybody stepped up throughout the whole game and stayed super positive.”

After forcing a turnover on the Buffaloes’ first possession, Halleron scored two goals in the span of just 43 seconds to give the Commodores an early 2-0 lead. Colorado scored two goals to tie it up, but Halleron completed her hat trick within the first seven minutes and gave Vanderbilt a 3-2 advantage. The Commodores played most of the rest of the first quarter in their defensive area, however. The visitors took the lead with two goals, but midfielder Ella Smith scored the last goal of the opening period to level the score at 4-4.

Colorado opened the scoring in the second quarter, but Halleron scored her fourth after several free-position attempts and a long attack for the Commodores. The teams traded a few more goals, with Lila Huddles getting on the board for Vanderbilt, before entering the halftime break tied at 6-6. The Commodores outshot Colorado 16-12 in the first half, with Vanderbilt goalie Paige Gunning making six saves.

Commodores Paige Finneran and last year’s leading scorer Bri Gross opened the scoring for Vanderbilt in the first five minutes of the second half. However, the Buffaloes quickly responded with three of their own by Morgan Pence, Rachel Kennedy and Charlie Rudy. Vanderbilt’s Kayla Rieu notched her first goal of the season as Vanderbilt equalized again, and both sides headed into the fourth quarter even at 9-9.

After the Commodores’ second possession of the fourth quarter took nearly the whole shot clock, Halleron’s fifth goal put Vanderbilt ahead again. After one defensive stand for Vanderbilt, a shot from Ashley Stokes on Colorado’s next possession tied it up at 10-10 with just four minutes to go. After a pair of stops at each end, Colorado had the last minute of regulation time to draw up a plan. After a free-position shot went over the net and Vanderbilt’s last rush came up empty, the game headed into overtime.

Vanderbilt stopped the first two Colorado possessions of overtime, and Gross connected on a shot to win it for the Commodores with just two seconds left on the clock.

“Bri’s always the person at the end of the game that we’re going to give the go-ahead if she feels like she has the opportunity to take her defender,” Hewitt said. “She got a nice lane from her teammates and finished it.”

The Commodores will be straight back in action on Sunday, Feb. 12 for a 12 p.m. matinee against Denver.

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About the Contributors
Frankie Sheehy
Frankie Sheehy, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Frankie Sheehy ('24) wrote for The Hustler Sports section and graduated from the College of Arts and Science with majors in economics and law, history and society. He was also the president of the Vanderbilt Chess Club and a superfan of the Chicago White Sox. You can reach him at [email protected].
Ophelia Lu
Ophelia Lu, Deputy Photography Director
Ophelia Lu (’26) is from Los Angeles and is double majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering in the School of Engineering. She previously served as a staff photographer. When not covering events and sports games for The Hustler, you can find her listening to a lot of music, studying at Starbucks or lying on Alumni lawn. She can be reached at [email protected].
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