Tough Finish

Vanderbilt falls to Tennessee in overtime

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 10 Vanderbilt dropped its first game of the 2020 season Sunday afternoon, falling 1-0 in overtime to Tennessee at Regal Soccer Stadium.

Tennessee’s Jaida Thomas scored the winner two minutes into the extra session. The goal came after Vanderbilt conceded just its second corner kick of the game to the Volunteers (1-1-0, 1-1-0) and the ensuing ball in bounced around in the box before Thomas tapped it over the line.

“I was pleased overall with how we played but we lacked quality in the 18-yard box,” said head coach Darren Ambrose. “We had numerous opportunities and at this level when you don’t convert them it can haunt you as it did in this one. It hurts to be on the wrong end of this score line having had a lot of possession and more than enough chances to win, but if we treat it as a humbling experience it will serve us well down the road.”

The Commodores (1-1-0, 1-1-0) controlled the pace from the opening whistle, but couldn’t break through in the opening 45 minutes. Firing the game’s first five shots, Vanderbilt closed the day with an 11-8 edge in shots with Tennessee goalkeeper Lindsey Romig making three stops.

As the second half progressed, both sides pushed the tempo with Vanderbilt’s best chance of the afternoon coming with less than 20 minutes to play in regulation. On a break across midfield, Olivia Simmons played a ball to Haley Hopkins on the left side of goal in the 71st minute and Hopkins sent a pass across the box through traffic for Leila Azari. Getting a tight look at goal, Azari’s heavy shot was deflected aside by Romig.

Though dropping Sunday’s game, Vanderbilt has dominated the recent series and is 6-1-1 going back to the start of the 2014 season against the Volunteers.

The Dores will remain on the road next time out Saturday evening when they visit Missouri for a 5 p.m. kickoff.