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Soccer vs Ole Miss Preview and Gamethread

Vanderbilt tries to finish the season on a 4-match winning streak

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Nashville SC vs Colorado Rapids
The football team let us down in the end, but the soccer team is here to save your evening.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt is coming off a game where they won 2-0 in Baton Rouge against the Bayou Bengals. The goals were scored in the 16th and 80th minute by Leila Azari and Olivia Simmons. Azari scored via a Madison Elwell free kick that was put in with plenty of pace at head level. The Commodore midfielder redirected the ball just enough to get it on target while Mollee Swift in goal for the Tigers could not react in time to make the save. Simmons took a long ball from Fuller in goal then dribbled right into the teeth of the LSU defense. In the 2-on-1 situation, Simmons is able to find the ball behind the LSU defenders after some redirections. She coolly slots a left-footed shot into the net to give Vanderbilt an insurance goal.

For the game, LSU actually had the ball longer but was not able to create anything too dangerous to the Commodore goal. Possession was 52-48 in favor of the hosts but both shots (9 to 7) and shots on goal (4 to 2) favored the visiting Commodores. Vanderbilt having 6 corner kicks to LSU’s 2 also points out the territorial difference. The full box score is available here.

This evening Vanderbilt hosts Ole Miss for senior night. Of course, the seniors are free to return due to the NCAA’s COVID-related eligibility decisions. In a sport like women’s soccer, the players have very little incentive to go pro due to the amount of money available at the professional level. Even Haley Hopkins is likely better taking another year on campus on a limited scholarship than playing professionally.

AS it pertains directly to tonight, the Rebels are 3-4 and 1-3 at home. Their last match was a 4-3 shootout with Georgia that the Rebels won in Oxford. They have been shutout 3 times with 2 of those coming at home. In the other 3 matches, Ole Miss has managed 4 goals. This is not a team likely to score a ton, though the last result is interesting because 4 goals is obviously a huge jump from averaging 0.67 goals per game. Georgia has also been a very stingy defense, so that result is all the more perplexing.

Vanderbilt is looking to extend their 3-match winning streak. Tonight’s match is mostly just a tune up for the SEC tournament that starts next Friday. The Commodores sit at nine points from divisional matches that will be used to set the SEC tournament standings. However, things are weird with Georgia behind them at 8 points with a divisional match to go and Missouri at 6 points having only played 4 divisional matches. The original schedule called for each team to play 6 divisional matches and two cross-divisional matches. I am unsure how the SEC will handle Missouri’s schedule which likely had COVID-related cancellations.

Kickoff between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss is at 6 PM on the SEC Network+ streaming option. Grab your laptop, phone, or tablet and start streaming if the football game is still ongoing.