NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 2019 Vanderbilt soccer team is looking to build off its success from the 2018 season.
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.
This series will give an in-depth positional breakdown for the Commodores incorporating the returning and incoming players.
Wide Midfield/Wide Forwards
The Commodores return four wide midfielders and forwards and add an incoming freshman to join the position group. Last fall, the wide midfielders and forwards scored four goals and added 11 assists to help lead Vanderbilt’s high-powered attack.
These types of forwards play on either the right or left side of the field near the sidelines. Their objective is to quickly dribble past the opposing defenders and deliver passes to the forwards.
Leila Azari started 19 of 20 games in 2018, even playing through injury as she wore a facemask for multiple games on the season. She occupied the right wing for the Commodores, leading the attack on that side.
Azari was second on the Dores in assists in 2017 (5), and she tied for the lead on the team in assists in 2018 (7). She was essential on set pieces for the Commodores as she led the team with 42 corner kicks.
Maddie Elwell controlled the other side of the field opposite Azari, starting all 21 games for the Commodores. She scored all four goals from the wide midfield/forward position and added four assists on the season. Her 12 points tied for third on the Commodores at the end of 2018.
One of her goals was a game-winner against Jacksonville for Vanderbilt’s first win of the season, a win that kicked off the team’s season-long 13-game win streak.
Karissa King provided quality minutes for the Commodores on the wing. King utilized speed as one of the fastest players on the field to play in 14 games, while starting one.
Mairin Boyle also showed promise in her freshman season off the bench as a wing midfielder/forward. She displayed lots of speed in her six games, firing off two shots with one shot on goal.
Incoming freshman Alex Kerr will step onto Vanderbilt’s campus in 2019 with an abundance of experience. She set her high school’s scoring record with 44 goals and earned herself a spot on the NSCAA Girls High School All-Atlantic regional team.
Combined with Vanderbilt’s forwards, those two positions should provide an abundance of scoring for the foreseeable future.