COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Golden Eagles held Vanderbilt to the lowest scoring game in the series history by holding them scoreless for the final 77 minutes of Friday evening's game. They also posted a season high in shots per game with eight.
Unfortunately, their efforts fell short as Vandy took the 2-0 win at home.
The Commodores got off to a quick start by maintaining possession well in their attacking end. Just four minutes into the game, Candace West broke through the backfield to take on freshman keeper, Becca Toler, one-on-one. West punched the ball low and hard to Toler's right, beating her dive for the first goal of the game barely into the fourth minute.
A breakdown in the midfield left VU's CJ Rhoades open at the top of the 18 just 10 minutes later. Her shot found the upper 90 to give Vanderbilt the 2-0 lead.
Despite the slow start however, the Golden Eagles pulled together to hinder the Commodores offense in the remainder of the first half and throughout the second half. The defensive line tightened up on marks, while the offense heightened the aggression on the attacking front.
Four different Golden Eagles combined for eight shots, led by senior forward Jen Hoffman with three. Senior midfielder Michelle Decker chipped in with two shots, while sophomores Kerri Reid and Jacquie Watkins each added one.
Toler notched four saves on the day, while Vanderbilt's keeper Rachel Bachtel logged three.
"We did a great job tonight adjusting our style and play to be effective against Vanderbilt," said head coach Daniel Brizard. "But we need to come out of the gate stronger.
"There were a lot of breakdowns early that cost us two goals. We need to work on adjusting our play more quickly against different opponents, so as not to get behind on the board," he admitted.
The Golden Eagles will return home for an afternoon game on Sunday against UNC-Asheville at 3 p.m.