Vanderbilt University Profile
Competing in another Zone
As a southern school, Vanderbilt University women's lacrosse falls outside the normal lacrosse powerhouse geography. That little detail hasn't prevented Coach Cathy Swezey from success on the national stage. In her 16 seasons leading the Vanderbilt lacrosse team, she has six NCAA Tournament appearances and a 2004 trip to the NCAA Final Four. She was the first to bring a team from outside of the eastern time zone to the NCAA Final Four, and her Commodores earned four consecutive berths in the NCAA Tournament between 2007 and 2010.
The Commodore's lacrosse success has spilled over into Middle Tennessee. A number of former Commodore lacrosse players now work in the Nashville area as high school and youth lacrosse coaches, and Vanderbilt regularly hosts camps and clinics on campus.
Coach Swezey's coaching career began at her alma mater, Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey, another ECS school). She was a graduate assistant coach for both field hockey and lacrosse from 1994-1996. During that time, the lacrosse team earned two NCAA championship titles, and the field hockey team earned the title in 1995. A three-time All-American at Trenton State, she started for Trenton State's national championship lacrosse teams in 1991, 1992 and 1994, and for the 1990 national runner-up squad. She was an All-American in 1992, and after missing the 1993 season due to injury, she received the honor again in 1994.
Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Named in honor of shipping and rail magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who in 1873 provided the school its initial $1 million endowment. The Commodore hoped that his gift and the greater work of the university would help to heal the sectional wounds inflicted by the Civil War by contributing “to strengthening the ties which should exist between all sections of our common country.” In keeping with the spirit of that initial goal, fully 60% of Vanderbilt’s current students hail from outside the Southeast.
Vanderbilt women's lacrosse participates in the NCAA's Division I and the American Lacrosse Conference, a lacrosse-only conference that also includes Florida, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Penn State. Vanderbilt consistently ranks in the top 20 universities in the U.S. It has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 6,800 and total enrollment of around 12,000. Despite its urban surroundings, the campus itself is a national arboretum sitting on 333 acres about 1.5 miles from downtown Nashville.
Vanderbilt is comprised of 10 schools and colleges covering disciplines from the humanities to music to engineering. Among its graduate programs are the top-ranked Peabody College of Education and Human Development, which also offers undergraduate programs, and the highly ranked Owen Graduate School of Management, School of Engineering, Law School, School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Vanderbilt is also well known for its undergraduate Blair School of Music, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is ranked one of the best in the nation.