MALIBU, Calif. – Vanderbilt concluded its West Coast road trip with another victory after defeating No. 22 Pepperdine, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon.
The ninth-ranked Commodores (4-0) used late game heroics to remain undefeated in the 2019 campaign. It was Vanderbilt’s first win over a ranked team since defeating No. 9 Tennessee in 2018.
Vanderbilt and Pepperdine engaged in a defensive duel for the first 85 minutes of the match. The Commodores finally managed to break through in the 86th minute.
“I was really pleased with the first part of the game as I thought we controlled the tempo well,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “It didn’t lead to too many opportunities, but we kept the ball and defended really well.”
They were threatening in the attacking third when Pepperdine attempted a clear. Olivia Simmons stepped in and blocked the clear attempt with Leila Azari sending a sliding pass to Kimya Raietparvar.
“It’s what Olivia Simmons does,” Ambrose said. “She works as hard as anyone I have ever coached, and she is a fighter.”
Raietparvar crossed a ball into the six-yard box where the Commodores won back-to-back 50-50 balls. Haley Hopkins sent a header where Grace Jackson beat a Pepperdine defender to the ball to send it back to Hopkins.
Hopkins then beat two defenders to score into the net for her second game-winner of 2019.
It was the sixth goal of the season for Hopkins who has now scored in six straight games dating to 2018. Hopkins has also scored in all four games this season.
Lauren Demarchi and Taiana Tolleson split time in goal again with Demarchi recording one save and Tolleson two. Tolleson earned the win, and the Commodores posted their fourth straight shutout of the season.
“Overall this group showed they are capable of finding ways to win and gutting it out in a tough environment,” Ambrose said.
Vanderbilt returns to Nashville this weekend to host Music City Invitational.
The Commodores will play Colgate on Friday and Marshall next Sunday. Friday’s tilt is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and Sunday’s game is set for 2:30 p.m. CT. Both games are free to all fans and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.