NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Commodores are gearing up for the 2019 soccer season looking to defend their title as SEC champions.
Last fall, Vanderbilt enjoyed a storied season on West End, winning its first SEC regular season championship since 1994, its most games since 2015 and authoring a program record 13-game win streak during the season. Head coach Darren Ambrose garnered SEC Coach of the Year honors at season’s end.
Vanderbilt’s defenders were a crucial part of the success of the 2018 in posting one of the best defenses in recent memory.
They allowed just 14 goals in the 2018 season, tying the second-best mark in program history set in 2006 and 1990. Vanderbilt returns six defenders from last year’s lineup, including all its starters.
Nia Dorsey will return in 2019 as one of the team’s two senior captains after posting a remarkable 2018 season. Dorsey started all 21 games and was second on the team in minutes played.
The Dores don't waste any time and strike again!! Grace Jackson gets her first goal of the season off this beautiful pass from Nia Dorsey! #AnchorDown
— Vanderbilt Soccer (@VandySoccer) September 2, 2018
Dorsey contributed on the offensive side as well, adding three assists, including setting up the game-winner against No. 9 Tennessee.
Peyton Cutshall gives the Dores the lead!! What a header from the freshman! #AnchorDown
— Vanderbilt Soccer (@VandySoccer) October 7, 2018
Her accolades in 2018 included being named to the 2018 SEC Community Service Team, the SEC second team, All-Southeast Region second team and the 2018 SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Ella Shamburger delivered an incredible freshman season as she started all 21 games for the Commodores. She logged 1,776 minutes to lead the team in minutes played. She also generated offense with two assists in the NCAA first-round matchup with Murray State and another assist coming against Georgia.
The Dores keep the shutout alive thanks to this defensive stop from Ella Shamburger!!! #AnchorDown
St. Louis: 0
— Vanderbilt Soccer (@VandySoccer) September 1, 2018
She was also a part of the 2018 All-SEC Freshman Team, All-Southeast Region second team and the Top-Drawer freshman second team.
The Dores strike first!!! Kaylann Boyd nets her 7th goal of the season off the feed from Ella Shamburger and Haley Hopkins!! #AnchorDown
— Vanderbilt Soccer (@VandySoccer) September 30, 2018
Myra Konte, the third defender a part of Vanderbilt’s three-defender look, quietly had a standout sophomore season. She played in 19 games this season after playing in 22 in her freshman campaign.
Konte was the only Vanderbilt defender to score in 2018 against Miami in Vanderbilt’s home opener. Down 1-0 in the 80th minute, Konte struck a header off a throw-in to tie the game. Vanderbilt would go on to win the game to kickstart its 13-game winning streak.
— Vanderbilt Soccer (@VandySoccer) August 25, 2018
Madiya Harriott enjoyed a successful sophomore season playing in 16 games while making six starts during Vanderbilt’s 16-game unbeaten streak. Harriott also spent a significant amount of time this offseason with Jamaica’s National Team training for the Women’s World Cup.
Kayla Eason showed lots of promise during her sophomore season for the Commodores. She made four appearances off the bench and was also a member of the 2018 SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Blair McDonald finished her freshman season with a lot of upside for her Vanderbilt career. She played in five games off the bench for the Commodores.
Maya Antoine will step foot on campus in 2019 ready to help the Commodores as needed at the defensive end of the field. Antoine brings a wealth of international experience as she participated in the U-17 Women’s World Cup, representing Canada.
She was only 14 years old when she made her debut in the Canadian youth program.