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 downs Ole Miss 2-0

The Vanderbilt Commodores picked up their first SEC win of the year with a 2-0 shutout over Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt+celebrates+Abi+Brightons+goal+on+Sept.+21%2C+2023+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt celebrates Abi Brighton’s goal on Sept. 21, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Vanderbilt Soccer (6-1-3, 1-1-0 SEC) played its first home SEC game Thursday, defeating Ole Miss (5-3-1, 1-1-0 SEC) 2-0. Vanderbilt dominated for the vast majority of the game, holding Ole Miss to a shutout without any major chances. The Commodores rebounded from losing their SEC opener 3-1 to South Carolina for their first defeat of the season.

Vanderbilt thoroughly outplayed the Rebels in the first half, but entered the halftime break with nothing to show for it. Vanderbilt’s two biggest chances of the period came on a Courtney Jones shot from distance that hit the crossbar and two shots from close range by Sophia Gorski that forced saves. Tthe Commodores outshot Ole Miss 8-0 in the goalless first half, earning 5 corners compared to no corners for the Rebels.

“We figured that we were going to come out really strong because we knew that they were going to come out even stronger in the second half,” senior midfielder Abi Brighton said after the game.

The breakthrough finally came in the 53rd minute courtesy of Brighton, her first of the year. The senior picked up the ball on the right flank, cut to the middle and buried it in the corner from outside the area to put Vanderbilt up 1-0.

“She really is the heart and soul of this team,” head coach Darren Ambrose said of Brighton. “She wins balls in the air, her composure is exceptional, her passing ability is exceptional. But if you watch her, she’s fearless and she embodies courage. I’m really happy that she gets noticed for the goal because it was a phenomenal goal, but more so because of who she is.”

From that point, the Rebels began to look more alive. They started winning balls in midfield that had been dominated by Vanderbilt, generating play on the wings and even forcing a save by Kate Devine. However, in the 79th minute, Vanderbilt doubled their advantage courtesy of Rachel Deresky. Deresky got a cross from Tina Bruni on the ground and fought past her defender to find the net and put the Commodores up 2-0. The Rebels had a better spell of possession in the last ten minutes, but the game by then was out of reach.

Overall, the Commodores outshot Ole Miss 17-4 and took 10 corners over the Rebels’ 2.

The Commodores will next travel to No. 9 Alabama on Sunday, Sept. 24 for their most difficult fixture yet.

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About the Contributor
Frankie Sheehy, Deputy Sports Editor
Frankie Sheehy ('24) writes for The Hustler Sports section and is a student in the College of Arts and Science with majors in economics and law, history and society. He's also the president of the Vanderbilt Chess Club and a superfan of the Chicago White Sox. You can reach him at [email protected].
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