Commodores victorious in home opener against Hurricanes

NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt defeated Miami, 2-1, in a come-from-behind effort at the Music City Invitational on Friday night at Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. Head coach Darren Ambrose was pleased with his team’s determination tonight.
“This win has meaning,” Ambrose said. “Tonight, they gained a little bit of confidence and realization when they really decide to compete and play soccer, they’re a dangerous team.
The Dores (2-1) took the lead for good on a game-winning header from Hayley Hopkins in the 88th minute. Olivia Simmons set Hopkins up after dribbling down the right side of the field and putting up a cross to Hopkins waiting in the box. Hopkins received the cross and delivered a strike into the middle of the goal for her first goal of the year. 
Hopkins continued to get good looks throughout the game. She led the Dores with four shots and always seemed to be leading the offensive charge throughout the game.
“It felt really good to get that game-winner,” Hopkins said. “Our team has really embodied the word fight, and I don’t think it got any better than that. We can come back and really push to the end in a game like that.”
Simmons also had an assist in the 80th minute when her throw-in from the left side of the field bounced over two Miami (2-1) defenders right to Myra Konte, who headed it right through the goalie’s hands. It would be Konte’s first goal of the season. 
Simmons has delivered with expert passing through the first three games of the season. She has two assists off throw-ins and her assist to Hopkins gives her three on the year, which leads the team.
“Olivia Simmons is a winner,” Ambrose said. “She’s got strengths that go far behind the technical and tactical ability. As a coach, I would take 20 of those kids.”
Vanderbilt fell behind early on Friday when Miami took an early lead in the 4th minute. The Dores outshot the Canes, 9-8, with both teams registering four shots on goal.
The Commodores continued to rotate their goalies in the game with Lauren Demarchi getting the start and Taiana Tolleson taking over in the second half. Tolleson got her first win of the season, saving one goal.
The Dores take the field next on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. against Ohio at home to wrap up the Music City Invitational.