Final Four-bound! Lacrosse aces James Madison 10-4

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- A smothering defensive effort paired with a patient attack helped the 11th-ranked Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team defeat fifth-ranked James Madison, 10-4, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament Sunday. Junior goalkeeper Ashley Bastinelli made 15 saves for the Commodores, while senior attacker Lauren Peck contributed three goals and three assists.

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- A smothering defensive effort paired with a patient attack helped the 11th-ranked Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team defeat fifth-ranked James Madison, 10-4, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament Sunday. Junior goalkeeper Ashley Bastinelli made 15 saves for the Commodores, while senior attacker Lauren Peck contributed three goals and three assists.

With the victory, Vanderbilt advances to the NCAA Final Four in Princeton, N.J., where it will face top-ranked Princeton on Friday, May 21, at 6 p.m. ET. The Final Four appearance will be the first for the Vanderbilt lacrosse team, making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

"I am incredibly proud of our team," VU Head Coach Cathy Swezey said. "We seem to be peaking at the right time. Our team is playing with great confidence and composure under pressure. And I can honestly say that every kid is stepping up. That's exactly what you want to have happen this time of the year. I truly believe that a total team performance is what is getting us where we are right now."

The game began as scheduled around 1 p.m. ET, but was delayed only 2-1/2 minutes in by the threat of lightning. After a two hour break, the teams returned to the turf field at the JMU Lacrosse Complex and were able to continue play without interruption. In front of a crowd of over 300 people, including a large number of ardent VU supporters, the two teams were scoreless until the 14th minute as both offenses tried to find a rhythm. Vanderbilt's methodical attack struck first when Peck scored off a feed from sophomore Kate Hickman.

The Commodores took a 2-0 lead when roles were reversed and Peck fed Hickman for her first goal of the game. JMU's Gail Decker put the Dukes on the board in the 19th minute, scoring an unassisted goal. It would be Madison's only tally of the half, as Bastinelli made seven saves and senior defender Bridget Morris caused a pair of JMU turnovers.

In the 26th minute, senior Kelly Devlin assisted classmate Jess Roguski to give the Commodores a 3-1 advantage. Roguski won the ensuing draw for the Commodores, and the VU attack possessed the ball until Peck found Hickman in an opening and the Severna Park native scored, recording her sixth consecutive mulit-goal game.

The 10-minute halftime seemed short in comparison to the early rain delay, and Vanderbilt kept its first-half momentum alive. American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year Michelle Allen scored an unassisted goal in the 33rd minute to give Vanderbilt a 5-1 lead.

Goals by Peck and Roguski, the latter off an Allen assist, stretched the Commodore lead to six, 7-1. From there, the Commodores left little doubt, as the offense was able to possess the ball for long stretches and the defense kept the Dukes away from the goal for most of the second half.

Madison managed to score a pair of goals, including one by Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Decker, to cut the VU lead to four, 7-3. But Vanderbilt answered back, as Roguski scored an unassisted goal on a play setup by Allen. The Dukes scored the fourth and final goal in the 54th minute to cut the lead to 8-4.

VU's Devlin won the ensuing draw for Vanderbilt, and Peck scored an insurance goal in the 58th minute off an Allen assist. The Commodores' final tally came right before the final horn. On an 8-meter attempt after yellow card's fourth yellow card, Peck passed to Allen who scorched a shot into the back of the net to put an exclamation point on the Vanderbilt victory.

Bastinelli's 15 saves tie a career high that that was set in her first game as a Commodore, Feb. 24, 2002, at Johns Hopkins. Morris had three caused turnovers and three ground balls on the afternoon. She marked JMU's Decker throughout the match and only allowed her to score half of her season-average six points.

Freshman Molly Frew picked up four ground balls for the VU defense, while junior Kim Gianis grabbed three ground balls. Roguski led the Commodores with three draw controls, while Hickman and Devlin both contributed a pair.

Along with Peck's six points, Allen poured in four points and Roguski and Hickman each accounted for three points. The Commodores, who made five of 25 shots on Thursday, turned it around Sunday by scoring on 10 of 18 attempts.

GAME SUMMARY
NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament Quarterfinals
Vanderbilt 10, JMU 4
Half:  VU 4-1

Scoring:
First Half
13:28, VU, Lauren Peck (Kate Hickman), 1-0
14:15, VU, Hickman (Peck), 2-0
18:14, JMU, Gail Decker, 2-1
25:06, VU, Jess Roguski (Kelly Devlin), 3-1
28:41, Hickman (Peck), 4-1
Second Half
32:53, VU, Michelle Allen, 5-1
40:53, VU, Peck, 6-1
44:08, VU, Roguski (Allen), 7-1
45:02, JMU, Kelly Berger (Decker), 7-2
49:25, JMU, Decker, 7-3
52:06, VU, Roguski, 8-3
53:31, JMU Jessica Brownridge (Berger), 8-4
57:18, VU, Peck (Allen), 9-4
60:00, VU, Allen (Peck), 10-4

Goals:  Vanderbilt (10) – Lauren Peck (3), Jess Roguski (3), Kate
Hickman (2), Michelle Allen (2)
 JMU (4) – Gail Decker (2), Kelly Berger, Jessica Brownridge.

Assists: Vanderbilt (7) – Peck (3), Allen (2), Kelly Devlin,
Hickman
 JMU (2) -- Berger, Decker

Ground balls:  VU 17, JMU 20
Caused turnovers:  VU 8, JMU 12
Draw controls:  VU 12, JMU 8
Turnovers:  VU 19, JMU 12
Goalkeeping:  Vanderbilt – Ashley Bastinelli, 15 saves, 4 GA,
60:00
JMU – Amy Altig, 3 saves, 7 GA, 45:00 ; Livvy King, 0 saves,
3 GA, 15:00

Records:  JMU 16-4; Vanderbilt 12-5

Attendance:  338

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