Vanderbilt continues to ignore the SEC’s mandate that conference schools only play conference opponents in football and soccer. After football played at Texas A&M last Saturday, the soccer team is trying to hide a game at Missouri against the backdrop of FOOTBAW today. Or maybe the league made a super-secret exception for SEC schools to play Texas A&M and Missouri since the Aggies play Crimson Tide in football today while Missouri played South Carolina in soccer last weekend. The Yankee Tigers were also supposed to host Florida, but the game was postponed due to Gator soccer players testing positive for COVID-19.
In their first match of the season, Missouri lost 4-1 to the Lady Game Penises. South Carolina completely dominated the game as the score line shows. SC won the shot attempts, shots on goal, and possession battles 19 to 9, 7 to 5, and 65% to 35%. The struggles against a very good South Carolina team are not surprising.
Missouri is coming off a 7-10-1 (1-8-1) season. They were 6-6-0 (1-5-0) at home. The lone win came against everyone’s least favorite team from the state of Tennessee. They lost to our Commodores 2-1 in Nashville. The Tigers took the lead just after halftime but goals from Leila Azari and Haley Hopkins powered the Commodores to victory in a game where the possession stats show a significant territorial advantage for Vanderbilt even though Vanderbilt was outshot 15 to 12. The shots on goal were also in Missouri’s favor at 9 to 6.
The losses from last season’s roster include leading assist artist and 2nd leading goal scorer Sarah Luebbert. All told, Missouri is down 11 of their 29 goals and 9 of their 23 assists from last season. The game against South Carolina suggests they have not yet found the way to replace those losses from a team that was outscored 25 to 14 in 10 conference games last season.
The Yankee Tigers also used 3 goalkeepers last season with Peyton Bauman starting 11 of them. She has not returned even though she was not a senior. McKenna Sheehan and Gillian Schulte each had 2 starts with 4 appearances total. Isabella Alessio got the start in game 1 after transferring from the University of South Dakota where she posted a 4-3-1 record in 9 starts. Alessio would be replaced by Sheehan after allowing 3 goals on 6 shots in 69:27. Sheehan would allow a goal on the only shot she faced. Either the Tigers defense is allowing attackers to get into extremely dangerous scoring positions, or the goalkeeping is shaky. Haley Hopkins and company should test both early and often. Hopefully, the Commodores will have this game well in hand in time for us all to switch over to see the football team take on LSU.
Kickoff is at 5:00 PM on the SEC Network+ available on your streaming device through WatchESPN.