March 5, 2011

Denkler's Big Second Half Lets No. 13 Vandy Escape

from press release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Five goals from senior Katherine Denkler led the 13th-ranked Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team past Jacksonville, 12-9, Saturday at D.B. Milne Field.

Four of Denkler's five goals came in the second half. The Dores led 7-6 with 19 minutes remaining in the game, but scored four consecutive goals -- including two from Denkler -- to put the game out of reach.

"I'm very proud of Katherine," VU Head Coach Cathy Swezey said. "I talked to her during the game and told her to amp it up. I thought she was a bit goal-shy and wasn't going to goal like I knew she could. Coaches are always very happy when a player responds to what we tell them."

The Dolphins (3-3) scored the first two goals of the game and held the Commodores off the scoreboard until the 15th minute. Junior Kelly Connors gave Vanderbilt its first goal, which was followed by a pair of goals from junior Hannah Clark and Denkler. JU would tie the game at 3-3 before Vanderbilt closed the first half with goals from sophomore Kendall Pittinger and junior Courtney Kirk.

Two from Denkler gave VU a 7-3 advantage, but the Dolphins scored three in a row to get within one at 7-6. Vanderbilt answered with four goals -- two from Denkler and one each from senior Emily Franke and Clark -- to take an 11-6 edge.

"Give credit to Jacksonville," Swezey said. "They showed up well-prepared today and played extremely an intense game."

Junior goalkeeper Natalie Wills made seven saves on the day, including four second-half stops. Junior Tewaaraton nominee Ally Carey had another extremely productive day. Carey had two assists, eight ground balls, five draw controls and a caused turnover.

Vanderbilt next will travel to Durham, N.C., to face Duke on Wednesday, March 5. The game begins at 5 p.m. CT. Live video and live stats are both scheduled to be available.

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