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 draws with UMass in scoreless affair

Despite an abundance of chances, the Commodores were ultimately not able to pull away versus the Minutewomen.
Anseley Philippe
The Commodores taking the field on Oct. 23, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Anseley Philippe).

Following a comfortable win in its season opener, Vanderbilt was kept silent in a scoreless draw versus UMass on Sunday. Despite 23 shots, nine corners and a penalty kick, the Commodores were unable to find the back of the net on a frustrating, scorching-hot afternoon.

Vanderbilt asserted control of the game in the early stages but struggled to translate its decisiveness to a separating moment. 

“There’s an intensity to us for sure, there’s an ability for us to get into good spots on the field, but the timing and composure are off,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “Today was 100 degrees, and I’m proud of the effort – I feel like we dominated, but I’m frustrated that we couldn’t find an answer.”

The game’s opening 10 minutes were largely dominated by the Commodores, as they were able to retain possession and pin the Minutewomen in their own half. Vanderbilt’s first chances of the game were created from crosses by winger Tina Bruni, who narrowly missed on connections with forwards Rachel Deresky and Addie Porter. Bruni nearly found the net herself in the 15th minute with a curled effort from outside the box, but was denied by the crossbar. 

Despite sustained pressure in the first half of the match, the Commodores were only able to land one other attempt on goal aside from the narrow miss from Bruni. The Minutewomen relied heavily on the athleticism of their back four and were quick to counterattack after winning possession back, but were also unable to string together any dangerous sequences. Decisive passes from Vanderbilt’s midfield created near attempts for Amber Nguyen and Sophia Gorski, but neither could put anything on the net. The Commodores had their closest chance of the first half as junior midfielder Mia Castillio beat Olszeweki with a header, but the attempt was cleared off of the goal line to keep the game in a deadlock heading to halftime. 

The Commodores picked up where they left off after the break, earning three consecutive corners in the opening two minutes of the period, but organized box defending from the Minutewomen kept Vanderbilt at bay. As the Commodores continued to pile on the pressure, a golden opportunity to break the tie emerged as UMass defender Julianna Ryan clipped the ball with her hand in a clearance attempt from her own box, earning Vanderbilt a penalty kick. Midfielder Abi Brighton stepped up to take the penalty, but skied her attempt over the bar, keeping the match scoreless. 

Once again, Vanderbilt had a near miss from a corner in the 58th minute, as freshman Ella Eggleston beat the keeper with a header but had her attempt cleared off the line. The Minutewomen had their first chance of the half as they countered well from a Vanderbilt corner, but goalkeeper Kate Devine was easily able to handle the ensuing shot from outside of the box. 

Vanderbilt’s last chance to pull ahead came in the 86th minute, following a corner from Courtney Jones. Forwards Caroline Betts and Hannah McLaughlin both were able to connect with shots on goal from within six yards, but UMass keeper Bella Mendoza was equal to the challenge, coming up with two incredible saves. 

The Commodores will continue on with their non-conference schedule on Aug. 24, as they travel to Rock Chalk Park to take on the Kansas Jayhawks.

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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 .
Anseley Philippe
Anseley Philippe, Staff Writer and Photographer
Anseley Philippe ('25) is a potential biomedical engineering and Spanish double-major who aspires to be an immunologist. Outside of The Hustler, he can be found queuing up at 2301, wandering around campus during his evening promenades or trying to keep up with his Spanish. He can be reached at [email protected].
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