Women's Lacrosse Handles Vanderbilt, 11-10

NASHVILLE – No. 12 Penn held multiple leads on Vanderbilt in its first-ever trip to Nashville, but had to hold off a late Commodore run to stay atop the charts, staving off Vandy for an 11-10 win on Sunday.

Nina Corcoran was the front woman for the Quakers, scoring three goals and adding two assists while Tory Bensen and Lindsey Smith each added two goals in supporting roles as Penn improved to 5-2 in 2014. Seven different players scored for the Quakers, with Sarah Barcia, Lely DeSimone, Courtney Tomchik and Iris Williamson each adding a goal.

Despite the 10 goals allowed, Lucy Ferguson was stellar in net with 11 saves in the game – including seven in the second half as Penn was outshot, 17-8, in the final 30 minutes.

Ferguson’s saves were clutch, making a remarkably efficient Penn attack’s efforts stand up. The Quakers had just five shots in the first half, but scored on four of them. In the second half, the Red and Blue took eight shots – and scored on seven of them. As a team, Penn had a scoring percentage in terms of shots which reached goal of 85% compared to 37% for Vanderbilt.

Penn scored four of the game’s first five goals, one each from Bensen, Williamson, Barcia and DeSimone to build a 4-1 lead just 12:59 into the game. The Commodores would rally to close the first period, scoring the final three goals of the frame to send the game to halftime knotted up, 4-4.

After the break, Penn responded with another run, netting three in a row to take a 7-4 lead just 3:39 into the second half. Again the goals all came from multiple scorers, Smith scoring first at the 32:54 mark before Bensen and Corcoran scored 18 seconds apart.

Those three goals were part of a 6-1 Penn run to start the second half, as the Quakers built a 10-5 lead with 18:03 to play. Corcoran had two more in the second three-goal run, her final goal of the game coming just 27 seconds after Smith had staked the Quakers to a 9-5 lead.

From that point on, Vanderbilt attempted to mount a similar comeback to the one it put together in 2013 at Franklin Field. In that game, Penn had a five goal lead (11-60 with 19:10 to play and watched as Vanderbilt rallied to take a 12-11 lead before Bensen sent the game to overtime on a goal with 0:25 left in a game Penn would win, 14-13.

This year, Vanderbilt’s rally would fall one goal short.

Two goals 15 seconds apart from Abby Wheeler and Emma Darges started the run for the Commodores with just over 11 minutes to play. Kelly Chandler would close Penn’s lead to 10-8 with a goal at the 54:35 mark, but Courtney Tomchik would score the eventual game-winner with 5:15 to play, giving Penn a three-goal lead.

Jill Doherty made the game interesting, scoring twice in a 22-second span with under three minutes to play, but Brooke Kiley would win the ensuing draw – her third of the day – and Penn would run out the clock.

In addition to her 11 saves, Ferguson recorded five ground balls to lead all players. Meg Markham had four caused turnovers and added three draw controls and two ground balls. Leah McBride and Lydia Miller each had two ground balls.

Download: Vanderbilt.pdf