The SEC East Division Champions and the 2-Seed going into today’s game against Alabama in the SEC Quarterfinals. It is broadcast on the SECNetwork at 12:00 CST.
The Commodores are 13-4-1 with three victories, three losses, and one tie against ranked teams. Currently, Vanderbilt is not ranked inside the Top 25 and are No. 36 in the RPI.
Last week, five players were named Second Team All Conference: Nia Dorsey, Maddie Elwell, Haley Hopkins, Grace Jackson and Ella Shamburger.
It has been another successful year under Daren Ambrose, though they did not run off 12 games unbeaten or secure the regular season conference championship. This year’s schedule is harder than last, and they have been without starting forward Blue Ellis since September.
Ellis was cleared to play again for the last regular season game, where she scored both goals to secure the East Division championship.
This season, Haley Hopkins and Ellis lead the team with 11 and five goals respectively. Madison Elwell leads the team in assists with nine. Hopkins has four, along with Leila Azari and Olivia Simmons. Captain Mia Dorsey has three.
A unique aspect of this year’s team is the time split between the goalkeepers. Lauren Demarchi has started 16 of 18 games, while Taiana Tolleson relieves her in the second half. Their minutes played are nearly identical. Demarchi has given up four goals while Tolleson, six. However, Tolleson has seen more shots and has more saves with 29 to Demarchi’s 24.
If anything, this year’s team is more tested than last year and is coming into the SECT at their peak. SEC Soccer is difficult with four teams ranked in the RPI Top25 and seven in the Top 50.
With a victory today, the Dores would face the winner of Georgia/South Carolina on Friday at 6:00 CST.
(Note from Tom: I’m busy and not going to bother with Mason’s press conference today so talk about that too if you want.)