Soccer Upsets No. 21-ranked Tennessee on the Road, 1-0
Tenn. The Vanderbilt womens 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 womens 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
We worked very hard defensively, and we didnt
break. I think that is a huge stepping stone for our team,
especially since we didnt 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.
Its 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 Vanderbilts 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 Vanderbilts 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
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
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
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.
Vanderbilt (4-6, 2-2)
VU: Jennifer Lewis (Unassisted) 5:24