NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt needed nearly 110 minutes to earn a 1-0 double-overtime victory over Tennessee in its Southeastern Conference opener in front of a record-setting crowd of 1,193 on Sunday evening at the Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex.
The 17th-ranked Commodores (8-1, 1-0) used late-game heroics from Madiya Harriott, who scored her first goal in two years in the 109th minute, as Vandy remained undefeated against the Volunteers (6-2-1, 0-1) under head coach Darren Ambrose. Ambrose has led the Commodores to a 5-0-1 mark against Tennessee in his five years.
“What I learned about our group is they got ‘it’ in them,” Ambrose said. “I thought it was a great competition. We needed a set piece to bring them down at the end of the day.”
The Commodores, who opened SEC play with a win for the third straight year, continue their league slate at Arkansas on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT.
In double overtime, the Commodores forced a corner with Maddie Elwell sending it into the box. A deflection left the ball to Nia Dorsey, whose shot was blocked and ended up at the feet of Olivia Simmons. Simmons proceeded to pass it to the outer edge of the box where Harriott delivered a strike with her left foot to seal the deal.
“Maddie (Elwell) had a set piece and I saw it was bobbling around the box,” Harriott said. “I saw it was at the top of the box and I struck it as hard as I could with my left and it went in.”
A back and forth defensive duel took both teams to the final minute of regulation before the Commodores got the game-winner.
Lauren Demarchi and Taiana Tolleson continued to split time in net, with Demarchi posting two saves and Tolleson scooped three.
The Commodores have posted seven shutouts in their first nine games. The Dores are also unbeaten at home in their last 19 games dating to 2017.