Home Sweet Home

No. 5 Commodores set for first of five consecutive home games

#8/5 Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4-0)
DePaul Blue Demons

Feb. 27, 2021 • Noon CT
Vanderbilt Soccer Complex • Nashville, Tenn.

SEC Network+

Home Sweet Home

  • Playing its second exhibition of the 2021 spring season, Vanderbilt will match up with DePaul on Saturday afternoon at Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. Kickoff is set for noon on SEC Network+.
  • Due to COVID-19 protocols, fans are not permitted to attend this weekend’s match at Vanderbilt Soccer Complex.
  • Vanderbilt and DePaul have never met in an official capacity on the soccer field to date.

Our Spring Schedule

  • Vanderbilt is set to play a spring schedule that consists of three exhibitions and four regular-season games before turning its attention to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Selections for the tournament are scheduled for April 19. Vanderbilt has the automatic bid from the SEC because of its SEC title in November.
  • The slate sees Vandy play regular-season games against Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Memphis and Duke after exhibitions against Middle Tennessee and DePaul. It will round out its exhibition schedule on March 7 with an intriguing matchup against Racing Louisville FC of the NWSL.

Last Time Out (Officially)

  • Last time out, Vanderbilt captured its third SEC Tournament title and its first since 1994 with a 3-1 victory over top-seeded and sixth-ranked Arkansas in Orange Beach, Ala.
  • After Arkansas got on the board in the first minute, Vanderbilt answered in the third minute and Kimya Raietparvar’s fifth-minute penalty kick proved to be the game winner. For good measure, Abi Brighton added an insurance tally in the second half to give the Dores the 3-1 win that sent Arkansas to its fifth SEC title game loss in five years.

Last Time Out (Unofficially)

  • Vanderbilt shook the rust off Monday night with a 4-0 exhibition victory over Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro.
  • The Commodores and Blue Raiders went scoreless in the first 45 minutes before Vanderbilt put three on the board in 10 minutes an hour into the game.
  • All in all, Abi Brighton, Madi Allen, Mairin Boyle and Alea Hyatt were the goal scorers for the Commodores.

Ranked Dores

  • Vanderbilt enters the spring season with its highest ranking ever at No. 5 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll. This comes after the Commodores were No. 8 in the most recently release of the United Soccer Coaches poll after the fall season.
  • Previously, Vanderbilt’s highest ranking was No. 7 during the 2018 season in both polls.

Noting the SEC Title

  • Vanderbilt’s SEC title is the third tournament championship in program history and the first since 1994.
  • After scoring 11 goals in eight regular-season games in 2020, Vanderbilt came alive in the SEC Tournament with a tournament-record 14 goals in four games while allowing just four.
  • Seven players tallied goals in the tournament with Raegan Kelley leading the way with three. Haley Hopkins, Maddie Elwell and Abi Brighton also added two apeice with Kimya Raietparvar nailing two penalty kicks.
  • Along the way, Vanderbilt took down three nationally-ranked teams and each of the top three seeds in No. 13 Tennessee (No. 2 seed), No. 8 Texas A&M (No. 3 seed) and No. 6 Arkansas (No. 1 seed).

Some of the Nation’s Best

  • With Top Drawer Soccer announcing its top players in the nation, three Commodores made the lists.
  • Abi Brighton has been named one of the best 11 freshmen in the country.
  • Haley Hopkins and Ella Shamburger were named to the organization’s Top 100 in the country. Hopkins is No. 41 and Shamburger checked in at No. 87.

Since We Last Played

  • Quite a bit has happened since we last played a game …
  • Since her last game between the pipes, goalkeeper Sarah Fuller made history as the first female to play in a Power Five football game on Nov. 28 when she kicked off for the Vanderbilt football team at Missouri. Two weeks later in Vanderbilt’s rivalry game against Tennessee, Fuller became the first woman to score in a Power Five game by going 2-for-2 on extra points.
  • Since the end of football season, Fuller was part of President Joe Biden’s inauguration event on national television. During the event, the trailblazer introduced a fellow trailblazer in the first female to hold the office of Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris.
  • In January, Myra Konte became the first Commodore every taken in an NWSL Draft by going 30th overall to the North Carolina Courage.
  • Konte’s selection marks the first Dore taken in a draft since 2000 when Asta Helgadottir was selected by the Carolina Courage in the inaugural WUSA Draft after returning to her native Iceland for one season prior to being selected.
  • Konte will return to Vanderbilt for the spring and fall 2021 seasons before joining the organization that is now co-owned by Naomi Osaka, the defending U.S. Open and Australian Open tennis champion.

Head Coach Darren Ambrose

  • In his sixth season leading Vanderbilt soccer, Darren Ambrose has guided one of the best runs in program history.
  • The Dores have amassed a 69-37-10 record and 33-20-7 SEC mark during his tenure. Thirteen of those wins are over ranked opponents.
  • To date, Vanderbilt has three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament with a fourth coming in April thanks to the secured automatic bid, an SEC regular season championship (2018), a tournament championship (2020) and an East Division championship (2019) under his leadership.
  • Ambrose is the first Vanderbilt head coach in 21 years to have three consecutive double-digit win seasons (2017-19) and will make it four years in a row with two wins during the spring season.

Looking Ahead

  • Adding one more exhibition to the calendar, Vanderbilt will host NWSL side Racing Louisville FC on March 7 at 5 p.m. The game marks a first, as Vanderbilt takes the field against a pro team for the first time.
  • For more about the matchup, including thoughts from head coach Darren Ambrose, click here.