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Vanderbilt drops ECU lacrosse, 19-12

(WITN)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:05 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – Despite a career-high 15 saves from Ashley Vernon, the ECU women’s lacrosse team fell to Vanderbilt 19-12 Friday at Johnson Stadium.

ECU falls to 3-6 on the season with a 1-2 AAC mark while Vanderbilt improves to 8-2 overall and 3-0 in the league.

The Pirates got the game off on the right foot, as Nicole LeGar won the opening draw and then Payton Barr set Megan Tryniski up for the game’s opening goal. But, that was the only goal of the first 10 minutes for ECU and Vanderbilt answered with four straight goals from four different goal scorers.

ECU finally broke the Commodore run at 19:19 in the opening half when Frances Kimel scored an unassisted goal. Barr won the ensuing draw and then fed Megan Pallozzi who scored just nine seconds after Kimel’s tally.

Lila Huddles steadied Vanderbilt, scoring back-to-back goals for the Commodores. Kimel got one goal back for East Carolina and then Tryniski got her second goal of the game to get ECU back within one goal, at 6-5.

However, the Commodores offense kept humming though and rattled off five straight goals, two from Bri Gross and a goal and an assist from Maddie Souza. The Pirates did get a lifeline with 48 seconds left in the half when Tryniski scored a man-up goal, making it 11-6 at the break.

The Commodores came out of the locker room and scored three straight goals to push the lead back to eight. LeGar stopped the bleeding with a goal at the 24:18 mark, but Mikela McCauley answered for Vanderbilt.

Kimel joined Tryniski as the second Pirate to complete a hat trick when she scored at 21:17 and ECU had a man-advantage looking to get closer. But Griffin Gearhardt found Gabby Fornia and the Commodores scored a man-down goal. A second straight Vanderbilt goal pushed the lead to 17-8.

Despite the large deficit, ECU kept pushing to get back into the game. Tryniski bagged her fourth goal of the game at the 12:01 mark. Barr got on the scoresheet at 9:33. After back-to-back Vanderbilt goals, Pallozzi scored off a nice pass from Kimel. The game came to a close when Kimel scored a free-position goal as time expired.

Vanderbilt finished with a 41-30 edge in shots and a 19-13 advantage in draw controls. The Pirates collected 15 ground balls compared to 12 for Vanderbilt, but turned it over 13 times to 12 for the Commodores.

Vernon made 15 saves for the Pirates, a new career-high for the sophomore and the seventh straight game with at least nine stops. Kimel finished with a career-high four goals and five points while Tryniski scored four goals of her own. LeGar led ECU with two caused turnovers and five draw controls while Pallozzi grabbed three ground balls.

Next Up: The Pirates and Commodores will meet once again on Sunday afternoon at Johnson Stadium. That game will get started at 12 p.m. and will be broadcast on ECUPirates.com.

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