Commodores Earn Bid To NCAA Championships

Indianapolis, Indiana -- The Vanderbilt Commodores have earned their first-ever bid into the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championships, it wasannounced Sunday night via the Internet. The Commodores ( 10-5, 6-0 ALC)will travel to Durham, North Carolina, on Thursday, May 9, to face the Duke Blue Devils (9-7, 1-2 ACC) at 3 p.m. eastern.

The Commodores and Blue Devils faced each other during the regular season in March, with then #1 Duke winning by a score of 11-7. The Blue Devils used a first-half run to take an early lead, but Vanderbilt clawed back in the second half, outscoring the top-ranked team in the nation. The two teams went opposite directions after the match, with Duke losing seven of its next 12 matches and Vanderbilt winning eight of its next 11.

Vanderbilt also went on to post an undefeated record in the newly formed American Lacrosse Conference. At 6-0, the Commodores won the league title by a two-game margin over Johns Hopkins, Penn State and Ohio State. Vanderbilt's 12-11 win over the Buckeyes, who also earned a bid to the 2002 NCAA Tournament, clinched the conference title for the Commodores.

"From the first day of practice this year we set the goal to reach the NCAA's," said head coach Cathy Swezey. "I can't even put into words what it means to all of us to accomplish that goal. I am very proud of this team. Their character, determination and commitment have put them exactly where they should be."

"Every college athlete dreams of making the NCAA Tournament," added senior defender Megan Lewis. "For the three seniors on this team, this is something we've been working toward for the past four years. We did not want to leave without accomplishing this for the team. We have a great group of girls this year, and have worked very hard to earn this bid." Top Stories