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Women’s Lacrosse: Vanderbilt Upsets No. 12 Notre Dame, 14-12

Commodores knock off Irish for first time since 2011.

Vanderbilt Athletics / YouTube

The Vanderbilt women’s lacrosse team didn’t put more shots on goal than their visitors from Notre Dame.

The Commodores didn’t win as many draws at the center line and they committed more turnovers.

But they made the most of those fewer scoring chances, upsetting the No. 12 Irish, 14-12, Saturday at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex.

Bridget Deehan, the Irish’s graduate goalie, suffered the worst outing of her collegiate career, surrendering 14 goals on 17 Commodores shots on goals. Vanderbilt (2-0) was 4-for-5 in free position attempts.

The Irish started hot out of the gate, leading 6-3 after one quarter behind goals from Madison Ahern (2), Madison Mote (2), Cailin Field and Kasey Choma. But Vanderbilt ripped off three goals of its own to tie the game at six goals apiece. A late Commodores miscue allowed Ahern to score her third goal just before halftime.

Aside from a 7-6 lead at the break, the visitors were outshooting their hosts, winning the draw control circle, scooping up more ground balls, and committing fewer turnovers. They had, however, lost Kasey Choma — last year’s top goal scorer — for the second half after the junior midfielder drew two yellow cards.

By the early third quarter, the Commodores had seized a lead they would not again relinquish. Their triple attack of senior Maddie Souza, graduate Gabby Fornia and senior Karlie Bucci kept the pressure on the Irish’s porous defense, scoring two goals apiece. Sophomore midfielder Ellie Hillsabeck led all scorers with four goals, including three of the Commodores’ last six.

Junior goalkeeper Paige Gunning stopped 11 of 23 Irish shots to earn the victory, limiting the Irish to just two goals in four free position chances.

Besides Ahern and Mote’s hat tricks, the Irish had goals from midfielder Hannah Dorney, attack Jackie Wolak, Choma and Field. Midfielder Kelly Denes led the game with 10 draw control wins, while midfielder Diana Kelly caused a game-high four turnovers.

The Irish (1-2) will host No. 5 Northwestern (1-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, before opening ACC play against No. 3 Syracuse at the Loftus Center on Saturday. The Wildcats host Arizona State tomorrow, while the Orange (2-0) host No. 4 Stony Brook at the Carrier Dome Sunday.