NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Kennesaw State women's lacrosse team made history on Sunday when it played the first-ever game in program history against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.
Freshman Senneca Ward (Peachtree City, Ga. / McIntosh HS) scored two goals, including the first in Owls' history, and Taylor Southerland (Acworth, Ga. / Harrison HS) added another as Kennesaw State (0-1) fell 22-3 to the Commodores (1-1) in a steady rain at the Vanderbilt Lacrosse Complex.
Although the Owls came up short, the experience provided an opportunity for first-year head coach Kristina Llanes an opportunity to assess the team's progress and a point to build from.
"I think we learned a lot. I think we gained valuable experience against a veteran team that has several successful seasons under their belt and I'm appreciative of the opportunity to compete against Vanderbilt," Llanes said. "I think our athletes came to win. There are so many things that we can build on and I'm excited."
After Vanderbilt scored the first two goals of the game, Ward put herself in the Kennesaw State history books when she converted a free position shot to cut the lead in half three and a half minutes into the game. Southerland joined Ward on the tally sheet when she scored an unassisted goal with 21:15 left in the opened period that made the score 6-2.
"We fought hard in our first game. We definitely have a lot of room to improve but we're just going to get better from here," Southerland said. "It's exciting. We now know specifically what we need to work on in game-like situations."
The Owls' final score of the contest came with 34 seconds remaining in the first half when Ward again struck on a free position shot.
"It was really exciting. We came out ready to go, ready to play. We worked on what we needed to work on for our future games and what we did well," Ward said.
Kennesaw State, one of eight new Division I programs in 2013, has two weeks off before returning to action when it travels to Buies Creek, N.C., to take on another first-year program in Campbell on Feb. 23 beginning at 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State University