Vanderbilt starts off 5-0 under new Head Coach Hirsch
by Andrew Pacala
Nov. 23, 2008 (Nashville, TN)
After sweeping their fall schedule with a perfect 5-0 record, the Vanderbilt Commodores men’s lacrosse team looks forward to returning to campus in the spring to continue their winning ways.
During the fall season, the Commodores welcomed in their new head coach Tyler Hirsch. Hirsch comes to Nashville after coaching Franklin High School (FHS) of middle Tennessee for three years. In 2006 and 2007, he led FHS to consecutive Division-II state championships, and was elected Coach of the Year for the 2007 season. His dedication and unrelenting work ethic have inspired Vanderbilt to elevate the lacrosse program to new heights. The players have responded greatly to his up-tempo style of play and his focus on creating a “brotherhood” among the team. After graduating only two starters from last year’s 10-6 squad, the Commodores are ready to challenge for the top-spot in the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference (SELC).
With a new head coach and a talented crop of returning and incoming players, Vanderbilt looked forward to the fall season to showcase their talent. After an opening 15-9 victory over NCAA Division-III Sewanee, the Commodores continued to use their stifling defense and opportunistic offense to attain an impressive 13-3 victory over NCLL Kentucky and a 14-5 triumph over MCLA Division-II powerhouse Emory. All of the team’s hard-work throughout the fall season culminated in an 11-3 win over their arch-rival Tennessee Volunteers, avenging a disappointing loss from last season.
On the offensive side of the field, Vanderbilt possesses dynamic playmakers with the ability to drive to the goal or shoot from the outside. In only five games in the fall preseason, the Commodores shook the net with 66 goals, an astounding 13.2 goals per game. Their offense is complimented by their dominant defense, who only surrendered 21 goals throughout the preseason. The defense is deep and talented, with multiple players capable of singlehandedly shut down their attackman. This stifling unit ignites the fast-break attack, allowing the offensive playmakers to get into the open field and utilize their athleticism.
After a successful fall preseason campaign, Vanderbilt looks forward to returning to the field in January to continue their success. The path to a 2009 SELC crown will be difficult, as the Commodores will take trips to both Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia in key divisional road games. Halfway through the season the team will travel to Ann Arbor to take on the defending MCLA Division-I Champion Michigan Wolverines, a fantastic test for this up-and-coming Vanderbilt squad.
A new head coach, an explosive offense, and a dominant defense should make for an exciting season in Nashville.