NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt soccer team started their 2017 campaign Wednesday night with an exhibition at home against Furman. The Dores controlled possession early and often that lead to numerous scoring chances. Senior Lydia Simmons connected on two of those chances while Nia Dorsey chipped in one of her own en route to a 3-2 win.
Head coach Darren Ambrose was pleased with the team's effort in their first competition of the season.
"I think they gave us everything we could have asked for in their first game," stated Ambrose. "They looked very comfortable in possession, created a lot of chances. Defending overall was pretty good, especially in the first half. So for the first game we got everything that we needed, we scored goals, we gave up some goals we can learn from and the good thing is we weathered a change in momentum as well."
The Commodores took control of possession early in the first half which lead to a lot of opportunities in their attacking third. The game remained scoreless until the 29th minute when Nia Dorsey settled the ball just outside of the box. She took one step and fired the ball on net and it beat Furman's keeper on the right side for the first goal of the game.
The game would stay 1-0 into halftime and the Dores held an 11-3 shot advantage at the break. The Commodore defense limited the Paladins opportunities in the first half as only one of their three shots made it on goal.
The second half was more of the same for the Commodores as they maintained their possession advantage and turned it into two early goals.
The first second half goal came just over two minutes into the half. Lydia Simmons took a free kick from about 25 yards out, curved it around the wall and beat the keeper for her first goal of the evening and extended the lead for the Commodores.
No more than three minutes later, it was Simmons again with a scoring opportunity. She made a nifty move to pass a defender at the top of the box and put the ball in the back of the net for second goal.
After the game, Simmons praised the team for their effort and the ability to create a lot of quality scoring chances.
"We did really well tonight," said Simmons. "We came out really composed and everyone got their time on the ball. Once we got a few minutes under our belt, our composure began to settle down and ended really well."
Furman would have an answer as they took advantage of a few Commodore miscues in the final 10 minutes.
The Paladins scored their first goal in the 80th minute when junior Stephanie Arrington slipped a ball past Taiana Tolleson to put Furman on the board.
Four minutes later senior Rachel Shah took advantage of an opportunity in the right side of the box to make it a one-goal game with seven minutes remaining.
The Dores would settle down and maintain possession over the remaining sevens minutes to seal the victory.
Simone Charley paced the Commodores with six shots, including two on net in her first game back after redshirting last season. Simmons was a perfect four-for-four with shots on net and led the team with two goals.
The Dores saw plenty of new faces out on the field Wednesday as eight newcomers saw their first action for the black and gold. Ambrose was happy with how the freshmen handled their first collegiate experience.
"I thought they handled themselves really well," said Ambrose. "The first 10 minutes I thought we looked a little shaky but as the game went on they played themselves into it incredibly well. They contributed everywhere which is what we wanted and expected of them."
The Dores will look to build on this performance later this week as the get ready for their second exhibition game. They will head west to take on in-state foe Memphis Sunday afternoon for their final tune-up before the regular season starts next week. The game against the Tigers is slated for a 12 pm start.