The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt soccer freshmen poised to make an early impact

Darren Ambrose sat down with the Hustler to give the full rundown of what fans can expect from this fiery freshman class.
Vanderbilt Soccer defeats Mississippi State 1-0 on Thursday, October 4, 2018. (Hustler Multimedia/Emily Gonçalves)

Coming off a Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season championship in 2018 and an SEC East Division title in 2019, the Vanderbilt Soccer Team is set to have another strong season in 2020.

Head Soccer Coach Darren Ambrose is confident that his seven recruits in the class of 2024—Abi Brighton, Tina Bruni, Kate Devine, Sophia Gorski, Amber Nguyen, Mya Swinton and Alex Wagner—will heavily contribute to the Commodores’ success this year.

“Right out of the gate, their impact is going to be very significant,” Coach Ambrose said. “We knew when we recruited this group that they were very talented.”

With players like midfielder Amber Nguyen, who trained with the U-20 U.S. Women’s National Team in 2019, this first-year class is packed with experienced talent. 

“Amber’s soccer IQ is some of the highest I’ve seen in a freshman,” Ambrose said. “Her understanding of the game and technical application is at the highest quality.” 

Abi Brighton, from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, has also been making waves in practice early on. 

“Abi is incredibly gifted; she’s got great flare and great technique,” Coach Ambrose said. “She brings the ability to create all kinds of opportunities.”

Nguyen and Brighton are just two pieces of the gifted freshman class. As a whole, this class comes together with a technical skill set that will impress fans early on. 

“With the technical level of them overall, they’ll be noticeable,” Ambrose said. “They complete a lot of passes. They’re fun to watch, and they want to get on the ball.”

This group has held their own in practice too, showing grit and determination against a team of largely upperclassmen that cultivates a team environment centered around hard work. 

“Even though they were a little wide-eyed and surprised at the intensity, I don’t think they got run over by it,” Ambrose said. “They showed a capacity to handle it.” 

This class is packed with players who are ready to make an impact early and often. As the season unfolds, the similarities between the rookies and the veterans should become clear. 

“They fit. They’re in the same mold. They’re in exactly the same mold as the older players,” Ambrose said. “I can’t wait to see us play more than anything else.”

The Commodores kick off their season this Sunday, Sep. 20 at 2 p.m. in their home opener versus the Kentucky Wildcats. Due to safety precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, no fans will be permitted

The impact this freshman class will have on the program will be significant from the very beginning. Their technical ability and their ability to adapt to the competitive nature of the program will add value to the team for years to come. 

As the Commodore’s prepare to put another record-breaking season on the books, be sure to look out for the seven new faces who will soon be fixtures of this program.

Leave a comment
About the Contributor
Grace Nanney, Former Author
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments