Vanderbilt vs Tennessee
Knoxville, TN
1 - 0


Women’s Soccer Upsets No. 21-ranked Tennessee on the Road, 1-0 10/11/02

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt women’s soccer team got itself back in the thick of the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division race by upsetting No. 21-ranked Tennessee 1-0 on Friday evening at the UT Soccer Complex. With the win, the Commodores move their overall record to 4-6, while evening their conference record to 2-2. The Lady Volunteers fell to 9-4 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.

With the win, Vanderbilt now leads the all-time series with Tennessee, 6-2. Also, the Commodores have defeated a team ranked in the Top 25 in eight-consecutive seasons.

“I think our girls played two different styles of soccer tonight,” Vanderbilt women’s soccer head coach Ronnie Hill said. “I feel we were aggressive in the first half in the attacking third and were able to create chances for ourselves. In the second half, we stuck to the game plan. We recognized that with had a lead against a very good Tennessee team, and we did exactly what we needed to do to preserve the win.”

“We worked very hard defensively, and we didn’t break. I think that is a huge stepping stone for our team, especially since we didn’t crumble after the slow start.”

Junior goalkeeper Esther Thompson was one of the heroes on the night, as she recorded her second-consecutive shutout and her 19th of her collegiate career. Thompson finished the night with seven saves, including an incredible save at the beginning of the second half, which changed the tone of the game for both teams.

“It’s so nice to look back there and have someone as confident as she is,” Hill said. “She is tremendous leader on the field, and we know she is very good with her feet which gives us the ability to play the ball back to her, especially in tight spaces. Her ability to serve the ball is irreplaceable, and we know she is quick as a cat.”

The Commodores jumped out of the gates early, as midfielder Jennifer Lewis scored her first goal of season in the six-minute mark. Lewis intercepted a pass from Tennessee defender Tracy Swibas, then took one step and blasted a shot from 20 yards out in the middle of the field into the upper corner of the net past Lady Volunteer goalkeeper Ellen Dean.

Following Vanderbilt’s goal in the first half, both teams went back-and-forth the rest of the half; however, neither team was able to put one in the net. From a statistical standpoint, the first half was very even. UT outshot Vanderbilt by a narrow margin of 6-5, while the Lady Vols had three corner kicks to the Commodores one.

The story of the second half was Vanderbilt’s defense, as it was able to lock it in and not allow the Lady Volunteer offense to put in the back of the net. Tennessee outshot Vanderbilt 17-10 for the game, but had 11 shots in the second half. The back four, along with several substitutes, gave an incredible effort on Friday evening.

“I thought Jessica (Fear) had a tremendous game for us tonight,” Hill said. “She not only did the work on the defensive end, but she also ran the flank and got some awesome services in that created goal scoring opportunities up front for us.”

“I also cannot say enough positive things about Kelly (Kulsrud) and Kendra (Sasa) and their ability to organize the defense and keep everyone calm. Kari (Boersma), who was coming off the flu, also did a tremendous job for us on defense, while Ashley (Duffy) stepped in and did a great job. The back four is playing as a unit, and they really understand each other.”

Lewis led the Commodores with four shots, while junior Laura Hershenow and sophomore Jessica Fear both chipped in with two shots apiece. Senior forward Kim Patrick led the Lady Volunteers with five shots. Goalkeeper Ellen Dean was solid in net for UT, as she recorded six saves while allowing one goal.

“Laura gave us a real boost up front with her scoring chances and her ability to make solid passes,” Hill said. “She really gave her offense a lot of confidence early on.”

Vanderbilt returns to action at 1 p.m. (EST) Sunday when it takes on SEC Eastern Division rival Georgia at the UGA Soccer Complex in Athens. The Commodores lead the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 6-3.

1 2 F
Tennessee (9-4, 2-1) 0 0 0
Vanderbilt (4-6, 2-2) 1 0 1


VU: Jennifer Lewis (Unassisted) – 5:24

Shots 10 17
Corner Kicks 4 10
Fouls 14 10
Offsides 3 0
Saves 7 6
Cards 1 1



Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)