Been there, done that?
Not exactly for the seven seniors on Vanderbilt’s lacrosse team.
They have been to the NCAA tournament each of the past three years. Earlier this week the streak stretched to four years when they were chosen for an at-large bid and put in against seventh-seeded Duke in a first-round contest, 1 p.m. (CDT) Sunday.
What they have not done is win a game in the tournament, which makes the game against Duke their final opportunity.
“Our seniors have been tremendous leaders all year,” coach Cathy Swezey said. “They are definitely so excited about the opportunity to try and win a game in this tournament.”
Six of the seven seniors have started all season, and the one who hasn’t has been sidelined with an injury.
“When you have six seniors on the field together, it just gives you a different attitude and a different level of confidence,” Swezey said. “There’s nothing they haven’t seen.”
A rundown of this year’s seniors:
• Sarah Downing is an All-American who became the school’s all-time leader in assists this season. She also has moved into the top three for career goals with 39 this season.
• Alex Mundy is another All-American and a defensive stalwart who has been a starter for three seasons.
• Anstasia Adam is fourth on the team in assists, sixth in goals and points.
• Carter Foote is a finisher who had 40 goals (second on the team) and just seven assists.
• Allie Frank had two goals in last year’s NCAA tournament loss to Notre Dame and has a career-high 11 this season.
• Laura Keenan has evolved into more defensive role this season and has been a starter since her sophomore year.
• Megan Gibson played just two games before she was sidelined with a knee injury.
Vanderbilt lost to Duke 19-10 in its season-opener back in February, and while the Commodores’ lineup has not changed much since then the team has.
“It actually was good that it happened,” Swezey said. “We spent so much time working on the things we didn’t do well in that game that they became strengths.
“If Duke thinks it can take advantage of some of the same things they did in that game, they’re going to find out they’re wrong.”