The Vanderbilt Commodores are coming off a 3-2 comeback victory over Kentucky in their season opener. After trailing 2-0 at halftime, Haley Hopkins tallied twice sandwiching a goal by Blue Ellis. The Dores controlled possession and were clearly the better team. It was an encouraging start to the campaign that they hope to continue in Knoxville.
The opposition today is coming off a 3-1 loss at Alabama. The Volunteers took more shots than the Crimson Tide (17 to 15) but did not get as many shots on goal (6 to 8). Possession stats are unavailable for the game. Tennessee started 5 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 2 forwards.
Last season, Tennessee was 9-6-3 (3-5-2) but did go 8-2-0 (3-2-0) at home. They lost their top goal scorer, MA Vignola who had 9 of the Vols’ 26 tallies. Among their 6 seniors, 14 of their 26 goals and 10 of their 21 assists. They are a team who lost a lot of what they had from a not-very-good team. Of course, this is a rivalry game. Vanderbilt has won 5 of the last 6 meetings and drew the other. Last year in Nashville the Commodores won 1-0 in double OT. The last meeting in Knoxville was 2018. Vanderbilt won 3-1 with Haley Hopkins scoring twice.
I will not be here to watch the game live and participate in the game thread, but I will catch the replay this afternoon via WatchESPN for the recap. My soccer coaching duties are pulling me away.