Women’s Soccer Continues Preparation for Wake Forest/adidas Invitational 9/11/02

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Following an eight-day layoff, the Vanderbilt women’ soccer team returns to action at 5:30 p.m. (EST) Friday, September 13, when it takes on the University of Southern California in the opening contest of the Wake Forest/adidas Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C.

For the Commodores and the Women of Troy, it will their second meeting all-time. The two teams only other meeting came on September 10, 2000, when USC defeated Vanderbilt 3-0 at the Fila Challenge in Los Angeles.

Vanderbilt closes out its stint in Winston-Salem at 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday, September 15, against West Coast Conference foe Loyola Marymount. When these two squads take the field against each other, it will be their first meeting.

This weekend’s games are the second and third contests of a six-game roadtrip. The Commodores next home contest is on Friday, October 4, against SEC rival Florida. Head coach Ronnie Hill’s squad is coming off a 4-2 victory over Alabama-Birmingham back on September 5 in Birmingham, Ala.

Midfielder Michelle Bruntlett is coming off a solid performance against the Blazers, as she scored two goals. Midfielder Katharine Carroll and junior forward Talavera chipped in with one goal apiece. Goalkeeper Esther Thompson moved her goals against average to 0.64 after shutting the Blazers out in the first half. She has recorded seven saves in 140 minutes this season.

Scouting the Women of Troy

USC enters Friday night’s game with Vanderbilt ranked No. 21 in the country in the recent Soccer America poll. USC has also played one of the toughest opening schedules in the country.

Despite being 1-2-1 entering Friday’s match-up, the Women of Troy have allowed only three goals this season. USC kicked the season off by playing in the Nebraska/adidas Invitational, which they played Wisconsin and No. 1-ranked North Carolina. The Women of Troy dropped both contest, but proved these two games would only help them down the road. Following its two losses, USC rebounded with a 1-0 victory over No. 5-ranked Penn State and a tie against No. 2 ranked Virginia, 0-0. The Women of Troy play 11 teams from last season’s NCAA Tournament, including defending national champion Santa Clara.

Sophomore goalkeeper Julie Peterson is off to a solid start for USC. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after registering back-to-back shutouts against Penn State and Virginia at the UCLA Women’s Cup in Los Angeles. Peterson has recorded a 0.71 goals against average in the Women of Troy’s first four games this season.

Scouting the Lions

LMU has gotten off to a quick start this season, as it enters this weekend’s tournament with a 3-0 record. Loyola Marymount finished the 2001 season with a 7-10 record, but returned nine of 11 starters. The Lions will take on No. 13-ranked Wake Forest on Friday evening, following the Vanderbilt/Southern California contest.

One of the biggest statistics that stands out for the Lions is that they have not allowed a goal in their first three games this season. LMU has outscored its opponents 8-0 in its three home contests.

Goalkeeper Elizabeth Skhal has been one of the keys to LMU’s success this season. The senior has recorded two shutouts and eight saves in 244 minutes this season in net. The Lions’ defense has allowed a combined 13 shots in their first three games.

Forward Kelly Lewandowski has already made an immediate impact as a freshman for head coach Gregg Murphy. She leads the team with five points, which came on two goals and one assist. She ranks second on the team with 10 shots, four of which were on goal. Midfielder Myka Peck has chipped in with two goals early on this season. In just three games, six different players have scored for the Lions.

Notes for Wake Forest/adidas Invitational

  • Since 1985, the Commodores hold an all-time record of 10-12 in midseason tournaments.
  • Vanderbilt and USC have only played once, with the Women of Troy winning the only meeting 3-0 back on September 10, 2000 in Los Angeles.
  • Michelle Bruntlett is one of six players in the SEC to score two goals in a game this season.
  • The Commodores are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since October 19, 2001, when they defeated Mississippi State and Mississippi on the road.




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