NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt suffered its second conference loss after falling to Florida, 1-0, on a warm Sunday afternoon at the Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex.
“I don’t think we have to re-invent the wheel here,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “It’s just having some faith and pluck away at what we do. Eventually it’s going to break and when it breaks, we’ll be back on track.”
The 15th-ranked Commodores (8-3, 1-2) fell behind in the 38th minute, and their late-game push wasn’t enough against Florida (7-4, 3-0).
Vanderbilt continues its conference slate this Friday when it travels to Georgia for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff.
The Commodores outshot the Gators, 12-7, but weren’t able to get to the back of the net. The Dores got four shots off in the final four minutes for some of their best looks of the game.
The Commodores came inches from tying the game up when Ella Shamburger’s cross was headed by Haley Hopkins where Florida’s goalkeeper made a game-saving save to keep its lead.
“We carried the game for the most part,” Ambrose said. “I thought we were quite good in the second half. At the end of the day, it’s not about being pretty or the number of passes. It’s what you do in the 18-yard box.”
Sunday’s loss was Vanderbilt’s first loss at home since losing to Florida, 3-0, on Oct. 8, 2017. The Commodores hadn’t lost in 19 straight games at home before Sunday’s contest.
Florida had scored a combined six goals in both of its conference games this season, and Vanderbilt held the Gators to just one. Lauren Demarchi made one big save in the first half and Taiana Tolleson notched two saves in the second.
“I thought we competed well and played well overall but came up short in the final third,” Ambrose said. “We made one mistake and were punished for it. We have to keep doing what we are doing in most aspects of the game, but be a little more aggressive and proactive in the final third. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel.”