NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt won its third conference game of the season after defeating Missouri, 2-1, on Thursday night at the Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex.
The Commodores (10-3, 3-2) produced their second come-from-behind this season after scoring twice late in the second half to overcome the Tigers (6-6-1, 0-4-1).
“I thought we worked really hard, and I thought we took chances,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “The extra effort in the box is what we needed. The good news is we found a spark.”
Vanderbilt wraps up the weekend on the road at No. 7 South Carolina on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. The Commodores and Gamecocks dueled to a 0-0 tie last season for Vanderbilt’s only tie of the 2018 campaign.
Missouri opened the second half with a quick goal after a scoreless first half. Vanderbilt was quick to respond and didn’t let the Tigers keep their lead for long.
Leila Azari came through for the Commodores in the 58th minute for her first goal of the season. She flew down the right sideline, beating a Mizzou defender in the process, and sent a high-arced shot from a tough angle in the middle of the right-hand side of the 18-yard box.
Azari somehow found the tough angle to go after her shot bounced off the left crossbar and into the net for the equalizer.
“When we went down a goal, we found a gear,” Ambrose said. “We found another gear that we’ve been missing, which is exciting to see.”
Azari was on the end of the Commodores’ second goal of the game. After the Dores forced a corner kick, Azari stepped up to deliver a perfect cross into the box. That’s where the SEC’s leading scorer, Haley Hopkins, took care of the rest and leapt above everyone else to send a perfect header into the back of the net for the game-winner.
Hopkins upped her total to 10 goals this season and also boasts an SEC-best five game-winners, tying her Vanderbilt record set in 2018.
The Commodores have won two games in a row and now hold a three-game winning streak over Missouri dating to 2017.
Goalkeepers Lauren Demarchi and Taiana Tolleson were busy all night and faced the most shots on goal they’ve seen all season. Demarchi led the charge with five saves in the first half and Tolleson notched three.