Vanderbilt Soccer shines in rainy 2-1 win over Ohio

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Vanderbilt Soccer shines in rainy 2-1 win over Ohio

Photo by Brent Szklaruk

Photo by Brent Szklaruk

Photo by Brent Szklaruk

Photo by Brent Szklaruk

Grace Nanney

Coming off of an unbelievable 2-1 comeback win against Miami on Friday, the Vanderbilt Soccer Team came to play on Sunday afternoon against the Ohio University Bobcats and earned a 2-1 win to sweep the Music City Invitational tournament.

The Commodores found paydirt in the early moments of the match and kept pouring it on in the second half. Vanderbilt owned possession throughout the match, leading the shots chart 18-4 and shots on goal 11-3.

After a lightning delay, the game began almost an hour and a half after the intended start time. With rain coming down well into the first half, the Commodores kept their composure and scored early, just 3 minutes and 46 seconds into the game.

The first goal came from a beautiful lead pass by Haley Hopkins, sending the ball straight past two defenders and into the path of Madison Elwell. Elwell finished the chance easily into the far bottom corner, straight past the fingertips of the Ohio goalkeeper.

While Ohio had a few opportunities early, the Commodores were able to maintain possession for most of the first half after going up 1-0. Hopkins remained dominant up top with multiple scoring opportunities. The sophomore, who missed last season with an injury, is already making a huge impact on the field.

“She’s incredibly dangerous,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “It’s not that she’s just fast, but she’s got good feet. There’s just a mentality about that kid that when she’s challenged, she’s got a will. She wills her way past past people.”

In the 63rd minute, a second goal came for the Commodores. A Vanderbilt corner kick was sent a bit too long, but Paola Ellis saved the ball from rolling out of play in the opposite corner, and crossed the ball back into the mix of players standing in the box. The ball bounced out to the top of the box, and into the feet of Leila Azari. Azari sent the ball back in towards the goal, and Kaylann Boyd finished with a beautiful deflection off of her shin.

Towards the end of the game, Ambrose decided to give the young guns of the team some minutes, with the final lineup only including one senior. This group allowed Ohio to get one back in the 80th minute off of a miscommunication from Vanderbilt goalkeeper Taiana Tolleson and the defense. Tolleson came out to play the ball, but a collision allowed the ball to trickle towards the goal line and in.

“This group still has a lot to learn,” Ambrose said.

Overall, the Commodores put on a dominant performance in the win, but Ambrose wants to see those lopsided shot totals turn into more lopsided wins. 

“I was pleased,” Ambrose said. “I thought we did really well. We were just talking just now, that the biggest thing for us is that we need to be much more efficient in the final third crossing and finishing.”

As the Commodores look ahead into the regular season, they will continue to focus on finishing the numerous chances they get.

After two wins in the Music City Invitational, the Vanderbilt Commodores move to 3-1 on the season. You can see the Commodores in action again this Friday at 7 PM vs. Saint Louis at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. 

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