MARTIN, Tenn. - Sophomore goalkeeper Alexa Levick made three outstanding saves and then watched the Commodore women's soccer team score a pair of goals to defeat Tennessee Martin, 2-0, on Friday at Skyhawk Field.
Levick saved a penalty kick by UT Martin's Hannah McGowen in the first half and came up with a pair of diving stops in the second half. Vanderbilt's goals came from sophomore Ashley Oswald and freshman Lina Granados.
In the 35th minute, the Skyhawks had a chance to breakthrough when Midori Sera earned a foul on the edge of the six-yard box to give UT Martin a penalty kick. Hannah McGowen stepped up to the spot and took a shot to her left where a diving Levick swatted it out of play.
Levick would make two more big stops in the second half. In the 57th minute, Skyhawk Jaclyn Heckle got on the end of a McGowen corner kick, sending the ball back across the face of goal. Levick again dove to her right, swatting the ball down before it was cleared by the VU defense. Her last stop came nine minutes later when Melisa Erturk struck a ball from 16-yards out, forcing Levick to make a reflex save to her left.
UT Martin had held a 10-5 advantage in shots in the first half, but the Commodores would come out in the second half and reverse that statistic. Sophomore Gena Inbusch had two dangerous chances in the first five minutes of the second stanza, but was turned away both times by Mariah Klenke.
It was not until the 75th minute that the Commodores broke through. Junior Abby Carr found freshman Kelsey Tillman streaking down the right side of the field and Tillman's low cross was struck hard enough to get all the way through the six-yard box where Oswald finished nicely to give VU a 1-0 lead.
The Commodores put the game away seven minutes later. Freshman Keegan Thimons came down the right side of the field and crossed a ball into Dana Schwartz. The senior's effort was saved, but the rebound fell close enough to Granados for the freshman to crack it over a diving Klenke.
The victory marks the fifth consecutive year that the Commodores have opened the season on the winning side. Vanderbilt will not play again until next weekend, traveling to Oklahoma State (Friday, Aug. 24) and Oklahoma (Sunday, Aug. 26).
Friday's game was Skyhawk Field's first night game.