STARKVILLE - Four Commodores scored goals as the Vanderbilt women's soccer team earned a 4-2 victory Friday at Mississippi State.
"It's never easy to play at Mississippi State," VU Head Coach Derek Greene said. "They are a hard-working team. I've been in the conference 10 years and this is the best Mississippi State team I've seen in a long time. We were not particularly sharp in the first half, but it was exciting to get four goals on the road while we're not playing our best."
Sophomore Brittney Thomas scored the first goal of her Commodore career in the 14th minute. Freshman Erin Myers served a free kick into the 18-yard box and Thomas slid her header inside the post to give Vanderbilt a lead its would hold for the remainder of the game.
In the 19th minute, senior Dana Schwartz expanded the Commodores' lead. Freshman Cheyna Williams played a dangerous ball into the box that ended up at Schwarz's feet, and the finish gave VU a 2-0 advantage. Mississippi State got its first of the game less than two minutes later when Elisabeth Sullivan scored an unassisted goal at 19:56.
Freshman Kelsey Tillman opened the second half scoring her third of the season in the 56th minute. A shot from Thomas deflected off the post and Tillman cleaned up the rebound to stake the Commodores to another two-goal advantage. That goal proved important when Sullivan notched another goal in the 66th minute to bring MSU within one at 3-2.
The game's final goal came in the 78th minute when a corner kick from sophomore Ashley Oswald glanced off classmate Gena Inbusch's head and into the back of the net.
One highlight for the Commodores was the debut of redshirt-freshman Taylor Elliot, who played 15 minutes in her first collegiate game after missing the 2011 season due to injury. Junior Sarah Hook and freshman Keegan Thimons also saw their first SEC action of the year.
"I was glad to see us get a lot of minutes to some players that haven't seen them at times," Greene said. "That allowed us to give some players rest that got through two overtime games last weekend. We're excited for the win and will be ready to go on Sunday."
The Commodores will fly to Columbia, Mo., tomorrow for a Sunday meeting with Missouri that kicks off at 1 p.m. CT.