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: Commodores draw with Georgia

In a back-and-forth contest, the Commodores were able to earn a point against a tough Georgia side.
Peyton+Cutshall+shielding+the+ball%2C+as+photographed+on+Oct.+6%2C+2022+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FOphelia+Lu%29.
Ophelia Lu
Peyton Cutshall shielding the ball, as photographed on Oct. 6, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Ophelia Lu).

Coming off their second draw of the season, Vanderbilt soccer drew once again versus the Georgia Bulldogs, 1-1, on Thursday night. Despite a fast start, the Commodores were not able to hold off their SEC East foes for long. In the end, it was a heroic seven-save performance from goalkeeper Kate Devine that allowed the Commodores to extend their unbeaten streak to four. 

The match got off to a flying start for Vanderbilt, who nearly scored their first goal just three minutes into proceedings. After a dashing run down the right flank, right back Abena Aidoo put an inch-perfect pass across the box to find captain Raegan Kelley at the back post, who converted her shot from close range. The Commodores’ celebrations were short lived, however, as the linesman found Kelley to be in an offside position and overturned the goal.

The Commodores weren’t kept at bay for long. After a great run down the wing, Kelley earned Vanderbilt a free kick on the edge of the box. The ball from the ensuing free kick was knocked around by both teams before eventually falling to the feet of midfielder Abi Brighton at the edge of the box. After taking a touch, Brighton picked out forward Alex Kerr in space near the penalty spot. The striker then calmly slid the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net. With Kerr’s fifth goal of the season, the Commodores found their lead just five minutes in. 

Despite controlling possession in the attacking third, Vanderbilt was unable to hold their lead for long. After Vanderbilt lost possession in the midfield, Peyton Cutshall dragged down Georgia midfielder Abby Boyan to stop the ensuing counterattack. From nearly 50 yards out, Georgia defender Cate Hardin delivered a perfect lofted cross into the box and connected with forward Ellie Gilbert, who took a touch to control the ball before finishing past goalkeeper Kate Devine. 15 minutes into the match, the Commodores and Bulldogs were level once again. 

As the first half reached its midway point, both sides began to trade attacking movements in search of a second goal. As they continued to push forward, the Commodores began to rely heavily on junior midfielder Amber Nguyen. Playing on the right side of Vanderbilt’s midfield three, Nguyen moved freely across the right flank, linking play in the attacking third and pressing Georgia’s defenders restlessly. The pressure resulted in a few shots for the Commodores, but nothing strong enough to ask questions of Georgia’s goalkeeper. Despite taking more control of the game late in the first half, the Commodores headed into halftime still tied at one goal. 

Georgia came out of the halftime break quickly, immediately pinning Vanderbilt’s back line into their own half and earning their first big chance of the half just two minutes in. After Georgia’s Boyan was dragged down just outside the box, the midfielder stepped up and placed a dipping free kick over Vanderbilt’s wall and headed for the top right corner. With an acrobatic save, Devine leaped across the face of the net and denied Boyan’s shot, keeping the match even at one. 

Just 10 minutes later, Vanderbilt was denied once again by the offsides flag. After Aidoo earned a free kick on the edge of the box, the ball was knocked around before floating to Brighton in the box. The midfielder headed the ball toward the goal, where it was met by defender Ella Shamburger. The defender turned and nodded the ball past the keeper but was swiftly met with the offsides flag before being able to celebrate her first goal of the season. 

As the 70th minute approached, Vanderbilt’s back line began to face issues with the Bulldogs’ pressure. Once again for the Commodores, it was Devine who made two spectacular diving saves to keep the Commodores in the game. Noticing that his team was struggling with Georgia’s pressure, Ambrose seemed to adjust tactics for the game’s final 20 minutes. The Commodores seemed to shift their defensive and midfield lines backward, opting to try and find their equalizer on the counterattack. A swift counter-attacking movement from Kelley and Brooke VanDyck nearly vindicated Ambrose’s strategy, but VanDyck was narrowly dispossessed in front of the goal before getting a shot on the net. 

Following late substitutions from both sides, the Bulldogs pushed on for a winner as the 90th minute approached. After Aidoo was beaten on the left flank, Georgia found itself in front of the net again. This time with a kick save, Devine denied the shot from six yards out. As the final whistle reached, the Commodores has Devine to thank as they were able to earn a point from the match.

Vanderbilt will look to get back to winning ways in their next game against Arkansas on Sunday, Oct. 9.

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About the Contributors
Anish Mago
Anish Mago, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Anish Mago ('24) is from West Windsor, N.J., and is studying economics and political science in the College of Arts and Science. He previously served as a staff writer for the Sports section. When not writing for The Hustler, Anish enjoys playing basketball and rooting for all Philly sports. He can be reached at .
Ophelia Lu
Ophelia Lu, Deputy Photography Editor
Ophelia Lu (’26) is from Los Angeles and is double majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering in the School of Engineering. She previously served as a staff photographer. When not covering events and sports games for The Hustler, you can find her listening to a lot of music, studying at Starbucks or lying on Alumni lawn. She can be reached at [email protected].
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