Commodores Clinch Conference Title, Earn Accolades 4/23/02

With their 12-11 victory over the 18th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, the Vanderbilt Commodores clinched the inaugural American Lacrosse Conference regular-season championship. Vanderbilt is undefeated (5-0) in conference play with only one league match remaining on their schedule. For their play in the match, junior captain Tara Schmucker and sophomore Jess Roguski were both honored this week.

The #12 Commodores are currently the highest-ranked team in the ALC, ahead of Penn State (15), Ohio State (16) and Johns Hopkins (17). Penn State is currently 3-1 in conference, but their loss at the hands of the Commodores gives Vanderbilt the head-to-head advantage. The five remaining league teams (above, plus Davidson, Northwestern and Ohio) each have at least two conference losses.

Schmucker, a defender from Jamison, Pennsylvania, became the second Commodore this season to be recognized as the Player of the Week in the American Lacrosse Conference. She led the Commodore defense, which held the Buckeyes to only three goals in the second half, and used her speed and stick skills to control the midfield. SchmuckerÕs assist gave Vanderbilt the lead in the 54th minute, and her second goal of the game four minutes later iced the victory. She leads the team this season in caused turnovers (24) and ground balls (33).

Roguski, a midfielder from Eldersburg, Maryland, was named honorable mention Player of the Week by InsideLacrosse.com for her play against Ohio State. She won eight draws in the game and helped Vanderbilt gain a 16-9 edge on the draw. Roguski also scored three goals in the game, her fifth hat-trick of the season. She is second on the team in goals and points, and ranks 12th in the nation in draw controls per game (2.67).

"Winning our conference in it's inaugural year is a very special honor," said head coach Cathy Swezey. "We are proud to belong to a conference that has four top twenty teams and has provided excellent competition all season. Hopefully, this achievement will motivate us to accomplish a few more things this year."

"Winning our new conference was huge for our team and program," added Schmucker. "We have three more games left in our regular season. The conference win proved our team's success thus far, but our season is not finished. We just need to continue working hard and improving so that we can coalesce to play three 60-minute games."


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
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