Soccer Drops Conference Opener

Courtney Jones scores her fourth goal of the season

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Vanderbilt soccer fell to No. 9 South Carolina 3-1 on Friday night in South Carolina in the SEC opener. Freshman Courtney Jones scored the lone goal for the Dores in the 89th minute to avoid the shutout.

South Carolina jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first 19 minutes of the match and held Vanderbilt scoreless through the first half. The Gamecocks outshot the Dores 7-1 in the opening frame.

Vanderbilt dominated the second-half possession, controlling 54 percent of the game. The Dores outshot the Gamecocks 6-4 in the second, holding South Carolina scoreless. Senior keeper Kate Devine registered four saves on the night, one shy of her season high.

Vanderbilt earned four corner kicks, including a corner leading to the Commodores’ goal. Senior Abi Brighton served cross-field, finding Hannah McLaughlin. McLaughlin headed it to Jones who found the back of the net.

Freshman Sydney Watts finished with a career-best 60 minutes played.

“Tonight was a great lesson for us,” said head coach Darren Ambrose. “We can’t make unforced errors and expect to win big games. When we did the things we talked about doing, we had our share of the game. However, there were too many simple mistakes that cost us the end result. We will use those positively moving forward and become a better team.”


Vanderbilt returns to Music City to host Ole Miss on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. The match will air live on SEC Network.