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Vanderbilt scores seven goals in season opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt opened its regular season with a nonconference victory over Georgia State, 7-0, Thursday night at the Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex.

The 17th-ranked Commodores (1-0) wasted no time getting things started as they scored in the second minute of the game as the Dores turned some defense into offense to generate the first goal of 2019.

Vanderbilt forced a turnover in the middle third before Blue Ellis beat a defender and sent a through ball to Haley Hopkins. Hopkins fired a shot that deflected off the goalkeeper and chased it down. Hopkins returned the favor to Ellis, who received Hopkins’ pass and kicked the ball into the empty net for the goal.

Vanderbilt’s second goal came 10 minutes later off a set piece. The Dores drew a corner kick and Maddie Elwell went to take it. She delivered a perfect pass to the six-yard box where Hopkins headed it directly into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.

The Commodores erupted offensively in the second half and added five goals. The third goal came from Ellis in the 53rd minute. Elwell beat her defender down the sideline and sent a cross into the box, and Ellis utilized her left foot and sent in past the outstretched goalkeeper.

Ellis wasn’t done, and later completed the hat trick in the 62nd minute. This time, Nia Dorsey set up a cross and found Elwell in the box. Elwell sent a header pass to Ellis who fired over the goalkeeper for her first career hat trick.

Hopkins added her second goal of the game shortly after in the 68th minute. Off a free kick, Ella Shamburger lobbed a cross into the middle of the six-yard box where Hopkins notched her second goal.

Both of Hopkins’ goals came off headers.

Two different Commodores registered their first collegiate goals later in the second half. Alex Kerr found the back of the net from well outside the 18-yard box in the 78th minute. The freshman received a pass from Hannah Morgan and curved a shot around the goalkeeper.

Vanderbilt’s final goal came off the foot of Mairin Boyle. She received two pinpoint passes from Ashtyn Fink and Kerr and managed to slip her shot past the goalkeeper and into the net.

Seven Commodores notched assists in the season opener with Elwell posting three and Dorsey, Fink, Hopkins, Kerr, Morgan and Shamburger finishing the game with one apiece.

Vanderbilt is back in action on Sunday in Nashville with a matchup against Evansville at 7 p.m. Admission for Sunday’s match is free and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.