May 10, 2009

Courtesy of Vanderbilt

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The 12th-ranked Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team lost its NCAA First Round game at No. 6 Notre Dame, 19-13, Sunday at Alumni Field.

The Commodores finish the season with a record of 10-7, marking the third straight year with double-digit victories but also the third straight year for a first round exit from the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals where the Irish will face No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday, May 10, in Chapel Hill.

In Sunday's game, VU junior Sarah Downing broke Commodore records for goals and points in a season. Downing's hat-trick gave her 55 goals to pass past VU great Sue Napolitano's 1996 total of 53 goals and also helped her to 81 points to best All-American Margie Curran's 80 points from a year ago.

Downing currently ranks seventh all-time in goals scored at Vanderbilt with 106. Downing is five tallies ahead of senior Cara Giordano, who ends her illustrious VU career with 101 goals. Downing's 160 career points are sixth on Vanderbilt's all-time list.

The game started evenly with ties and lead changes over the first 17 minutes playing to a 4-4 deadlock. The Irish would score the game's next four goals to take a 7-4 advantage, and close the half with three straight to secure a 13-7 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Irish would score the first four goals to take a 10-goal lead with 23 minutes remaining. The Commodores continued to fight, but would get no closer than the final six-goal deficit.

Junior Carter Foote's five points led all VU's scorers, while Downing and freshman Ally Carey tossed in three goals each. Giordano and junior Allie Frank both scored a pair, with junior Laura Keenan and sophomore Katherine Denkler rounding out the scoring.

Carey's six draw controls on the day give her a total of 61 on the season, also a record for the Commodores.

For Notre Dame, three players scored three or more goals, including Tewaaraton finalist Jillian Byers.