Highlights | Ambrose Interview | Anderson Interview
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt dominated possession and the stat sheet, but the Commodores fell short in their season opener and coach Darren Ambrose’s debut.
Miami-Ohio scored in the 80th minute to hand Vanderbilt a 1-0 loss on Friday night at the VU Soccer/Lacrosse Complex. The Commodores outshot the Redhawks 22-8, with 13 shots on goal, but none found the back of the net.
"It is really difficult," Ambrose said. "For a team that is trying to gain confidence and belief in what they're doing, the result doesn't suggest the way they played. I've coached long enough to know when you say that, that people look at you and say, 'Ehh.' But they were really quite good. I thought we were good. It (is disappointing) that we were on the wrong end of the scoreline tonight. But incredibly pleased with the way we played overall."
Haley Walter scored the lone goal in with 10 minutes left in the game on an assist from Courtney Evans. Walter nudged a shot off the feet of Vanderbilt goalkeeper Christiana Ogunsami, who tried to cut down Walter’s angle, and the ball bounced up into the goal.
"One mistake cost us," Ambrose said. "We dominated in every possible statistical category. As I've said before, every game is a chance for us to learn something. We learned tonight that we need to sharpen up in the final third (of the game). It is disappointing, without question. But the effort and the way we played, no problem."
It was a tough loss for Vanderbilt (0-1) and Ambrose, who was coaching his first game as Commodores head coach after spending the previous 15 years at Penn. VU outshot Miami 16-4 in the first half and had plenty of chances to score, including several solid looks that were snuffed out.
Simone Charley, who led the team with 13 shots and seven on goal, nearly put the Commodores in front in the 19th minute. On a breakaway, Charley aimed a shot toward the right corner. But Miami goalkeeper Vic Maniaci got enough of her mitt on the ball that it deflected off the near post. It was one of Maniaci’s 11 saves but the Redhawks goalie also got help from her defense.
Twice Vanderbilt had empty nets in the first half, but Miami defenders knocked the ball away. Off a corner kick, Charley headed the ball toward the goal. Vanderbilt defender Claire Anderson got a foot on it and steered it toward the net but Redhawks defender was right there on the goal line to keep the shot from going in. Lina Granados also had a chance as she beat Maniaci to her left just inside the five yard-mark. But the ball rolled long enough for Miami’s Tori Christiansen to race in and clear the shot.
Vanderbilt must now bounce back quickly as it heads to Cincinnati for its first road game of the season. The Commodores will play the Bearcats at noon on Sunday.