Soccer Preview: Vanderbilt prepares for Missouri after overtime loss to Tennessee

After falling short to the Tennessee Volunteers in the second minute of overtime play, Vanderbilt Soccer looks to bring the intensity this weekend.


Vanderbilt plays Mizzou in October 2019. (Hustler Multimedia/Truman McDaniel)

Grace Nanney, Staff Writer

The Vanderbilt Commodores fell to 1-1 on the season last Sunday following a heartbreaking, 1-0 overtime loss against Tennessee. 

After maintaining possession for 57 percent of the game and creating multiple chances for themselves through 90 minutes of play, the Commodores seemed prepared for an overtime battle. 

Just two minutes into the overtime period, however, the Volunteers converted the game-winning goal off a corner kick when Tennessee forward Jaida Thomas drove a shot into the right corner of the net. 

Last week’s win marks the first time Tennessee has beaten Vanderbilt under Coach Darren Ambrose’s six years at the helm, and the second year in a row that the matchup has gone into overtime. 

“This is a new experience for us, and it’s something we have to grow from,” Coach Ambrose said. “I’m not upset with the way we played; I thought we played quite well.” 

Despite the loss, the Commodores still  stand as the 13th-ranked team in the nation according to the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 as of Sept. 29. 

As the team looks forward to this weekend’s matchup against Missouri (0-1), it’s all about focusing on intensity and urgency in practice for the Commodores, according to Ambrose.

“We want to be urgent. We want to be playing a little faster. We want to be a little bit more aware of what’s going on,” Ambrose said. “We just have to ramp it up a little bit yet still have a degree of control.” 

One major concern for the Commodores as they prepare for this weekend is an ongoing battle with injuries. Key upperclassmen Myra Konte and Haley Hopkins are already struggling with injuries this year. 

“We have some very young players who will be playing a lot more with the injuries we’re seeing,” said Ambrose. “All we can ask of them is to apply themselves in the best way possible and learn from whatever happens.”

The Commodores face off against the Missouri Tigers this Saturday, Oct. 3 at 5:00 p.m. CST on SEC Network+. 

“Have some urgency, demand it of each other, and have some intensity in the 18-yard boxes,” Coach Ambrose said. “That’s what I want to see on Saturday.”