Sept. 6, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --Vanderbilt rallied from a brief 1-0 deficit to defeat Oklahoma 3-1 Sunday afternoon at the VU Soccer Complex.
In a battle of unbeatens, the Commodores remained perfect improving to 5-0 on the season, while the Sooners fell to 4-1-1.
"Today was a huge win for us," said Vanderbilt head coach Ronnie Woodard. "Anytime you go up against a Big 12 opponent you know you are going to have a challenge both athletically and in a soccer sense."
Oklahoma scored first at the 12:40 mark when Vanderbilt was called for a foul inside the box, resulting in a Sooner penalty kick. Whitney Palmer took the penalty kick and fired a shot that VU keeper Rachel Bachtel made a diving save on knocking the ball wide. Palmer quickly got to the rebound and kicked the ball in from the right side into the left corner of the net to give OU a 1-0 lead.
It was the first time the Commodores trailed all season, but it lasted just a little over two minutes as they stormed back at the 14:53 mark to tie the game. Molly Kinsella headed in a ball into the right side of the goal from four yards out off an assist from Elizabeth Lillie.
The physical match went to the half tied at 1-1 with VU holding a 6-4 shot lead.
Vanderbilt took the lead at the 52:59 mark when Chelsea Stewart scored off her own deflected shot from 14 yards out to make it 2-1. It was the third straight game the freshman midfielder has scored a goal.
"Every time Chelsea steps on the field for us she gets better," said Woodard. "I cannot be more pleased with the development of her game as well as the rest of the team."
The Dores then added an insurance goal at the 59:41 mark when Nicole Lukens took assists from CJ Rhoades and Molly Kinsella and went one versus one against the goalkeeper, scoring from three yards out into the right corner of the net. It was her third goal of the season, tying her with Molly Kinsella and Stewart for the team lead.
VU finished with a 20-12 shot advantage, including a 14-8 edge in the second half.
Bachtel finished with six saves for VU, while Kelsey Devonshire gave up three goals while making seven saves for the Sooners. Megan Kinsella had three shots on goal for the Dores, while Lukens, Stewart and Molly Kinsella added two each to help lead the VU offense.
"I am real proud of how our team responded after being down early, especially in the second half," said Woodard. "We came out of the locker room prepared and determined to win the second half. It was the first time that we have been down a goal all season and I loved the way we responded. I thought we were disciplined in our attack and on the defensive end."
Vanderbilt ended its five-game season opening home stand outscoring opponents 14-2 and are 5-0 to start the season for the second straight year.
Vanderbilt will hit the road next weekend for the first time this season at the Auburn Soccer Classic. VU will take on Texas Tech next Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Missouri on Sunday at noon before returning home to close out the non-conference schedule on Sept. 18 against Tennessee-Martin.