Commodores fall to No. 10 Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Vanderbilt soccer fell in its season-opening match to No. 10 Florida State, 1-0, on Thursday at the Seminole Soccer Complex.

The Seminoles outshot the Commodores, 12-2, with six shots on goal. The Commodores registered two shots on goal with both coming in the second half.

“I’m extremely proud of the fight and tenacity of our defending tonight against a very, very good and very patient Florida State team,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “We knew they would have the ball more than we did, and we did a pretty good job of handling that.

“We did a good job of settling the nerves against arguably one of the best teams the country,” Ambrose said. “However, the result was disappointing.  After working so hard, we fell asleep at a key moment in the game on their free kick and gave up a set piece goal.”

The Commodores proved why they could have one of the top defenses in the SEC, allowing just one goal in the 56th minute from FSU’s Natalia Kuikka.

The Dores used two goalkeepers in the game.  Lauren Demarchi got the start for the Commodores, and she registered five saves in the first half. Taiana Tolleson played the second half in net.

“Both of our keepers have had great preseasons and it’s tough to separate them right now,” Ambrose said. “Lauren did make a couple of impressive saves tonight to keep us in the game.”

The Seminoles had control of the ball for most of the game, but the Commodores used a couple of late pushes to attempt to even up the score.

Freshman Peyton Cutshall’s header was saved in the 78th minute, and the other best chance for the Commodores came from a Kaylann Boyd shot in the 85th minute that hit the post.

“In the last seven minutes we did a good job of generating some set pieces in their half, and one almost paid off,” Ambrose said. “The disappointing piece is that while we fought and defended well, we gave up a goal off a set piece and at the other end didn’t quite have the bounce in one of our own set pieces, and that was the margin of victory on the scoresheet.  It’s a great learning opportunity for our kids.”

Up next, the Commodores take on Jacksonville on Sunday at noon CT . That game will stream live on ESPN+.