Vanderbilt lacrosse tops High Point 17-13

Vanderbilt earns its fourth straight victory at home to begin the 2021 season.

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Hallie Williams

Gabby Fornia controls the ball against Mercer on Mar. 3, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Hallie Williams)

Andrew Wilf, Staff Writer

Vanderbilt lacrosse continued its success, as the team topped the High Point Prowlers 17-13 in a historic game for Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon. 

Senior attacker Gabby Fornia moved into second all-time in assists for Vanderbilt, and the Commodores won their first-ever meeting against High Point.

On Sunday afternoon, the Commodores found themselves in a frenzy of exchanging goals with High Point. Although a win was in jeopardy all game, the star power and experience of the Commodores led to an historic day for Vanderbilt and a four-goal winning margin.

In order for the Prowlers to have the best chance of beating the high-flying Commodores, High Point would need to dismantle the strong defensive play of the Commodores. This strategy was working early on Sunday as Vanderbilt goalkeeper Paige Gunning, the leading goal-saver in Division 1 lacrosse, let up eight goals in the first half.

The fight began with a gritty High Point team controlling the game, as Vanderbilt found itself down for the entire first half. A key contributor to High Point’s first-half success was midfielder Ashley Britton, who won the first six draws of the game. 

Within the first minute of the game, Vanderbilt found itself down 1-0 due to a Kaely Kyle goal, but Vanderbilt responded quickly. Within the next minute, senior midfielder Cassidy Orban answered as she found the back net off an assist from junior midfielder Bri Gross.

The historic assist happened with 11:42 left in the first half. Fornia found herself double-teamed, and she passed the ball to an open Gross who scored an unforgettable goal. The goal marked the fourth assist of the day for Fornia, but this assist meant much more than that. It put her at second all-time in assists in Vanderbilt history as she jumped ahead of Jill Dougherty, a current Vanderbilt assistant coach. She wouldn’t be in second place long, and she moved into a tie for first place late in the second half.

The dynamic trio of Britton, Kyle and Abby Hormes seemed too much for Vanderbilt’s defense to handle at times, but fortunately for the Commodores, the Vanderbilt offense was even more dominant. 

Like Fornia, Hormes made history for her school, as she became the all-time goal scoring leader for the High Point Prowlers during the game. 

With 28:58 left in the second half, junior attacker Maddie Souza shifted the momentum to Vanderbilt, and the Commodores earned their first lead of the game at 9-8. The teams went back and forth in a tight battle, but everything changed when Fornia found Souza with seven minutes left in the game to regain the lead at 13-12. It was only fitting for Fornia to be the one who guided Vanderbilt back in the driver’s seat at the end of the game.

Fornia earned her 88th career assist with 3:02 left in the second half to put her in a tie for first in program history.

The Commodores’ 17-13 win marked the fourth home win as Vanderbilt remains undefeated at home. 

The Commodores look to extend the home winning streak to five games as they face off against Kennesaw State on Wednesday at 1 p.m. CST.