The SEC wasn’t enough. Conquering the 12 states of the Southeastern Conference’s geographic imprint last year didn’t satiate the competitive hunger of the No. 9 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores. Nope, they had to go to the West Coast and dominate all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
In other words, the Commodores extended their undefeated run in 2019 to four. The first game was against the UC Irvine Anteaters on Friday, August 30.
All 107 people in attendance got to see Haley Hopkins score her sixth goal this season. Hopkins, a Cali native, is also on the Hermann Trophy watch list, given to the national’s best soccer player.
She scored the only goal of the game in the 46’, on an assist from Madison Elwell. The Dores had 12 shots total, four of them on goal.
Important side note about Elwell, she received a yellow card at the 25’ mark, while the rest of the team totaled for 11 fouls, three more than UCI. Ambrose’s teams are known for their physicality and aggressiveness. It plays out here.
Meanwhile, the Anteaters only had one shot on goal, stopped by keeper Lauren Demarchi.
Now for why you came to this post, my rankings of favorite UC mascots.
- Santa Cruz Banana Slugs
- Irvine Anteaters
- Santa Barbara Gauchos
- San Diego Tritons
- Riverside’s Highlanders
- UCLA Bruins
- Davis Mustangs
- Merced Bobcats
- Berkeley Bears
The second game was hosted by the No. 22 ranked Pepperdine Waves on Sunday night. The Commodores won the game 1-0, with another game winner by Haley Hopkins.
It was a tightly contested match with eight shots to Pepperdine’s four, but only one of the 12 total shots found the back of the net. It was in the 85’ when Hopkins took a “sliding shot in front of the goal off cross”
My hypothesis on the team with the most fouls having the advantage didn’t hold water here. Pepperdine had 12 to Vandy’s seven. 12! The Waves were kind of salty. I mean, they really tried to shipwreck the Commodores. But all they did was crash and recede.
Ambrose took the Dores out west so Hopkins, Blair McDonald, and Karissa King could play in their home state in front of their families. It turned out really well, and the California kids showed out.
Vanderbilt returns to the Third Coast for the next game against Colgate on September 6.