TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Sophomore midfielder Emily Grant scored her first career goal at the 95:44 mark in overtime to give Vanderbilt a 1-0 win over Alabama Sunday afternoon at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
Grant's goal came off a cross from senior defender Megan Forester and the win snapped a four-game losing streak.
"It was amazing, especially in overtime. I really can't explain it," Grant stated. "I think we're just going to try to build on this. Everyone stepped up and hopefully we'll continue with that energy into next weekend."
Vanderbilt climbs to 2-6-0 in the SEC and 8-7-1 overall. Alabama falls to 6-7-1 overall and 2-4-1 in league play.
"Emily always comes off the bench for us, but she got her first
career start today and scored the game winning goal," said Vanderbilt head coach Ronnie Woodard. "It's all about taking advantage of your opportunities when your number is called. Emily did that for us today."
Vanderbilt and Alabama traded shots for the whole of the first half, but the defenses for both teams held strong. Alabama controlled many of the offensive possessions with scoring opportunities off of six corner kicks.
However Vanderbilt's defense, led by junior goalkeeper Rachel Bachtel and the defensive muscle of sophomore defender Bridget Lohmuller and junior defender Megan Eddings, held the Crimson Tide's offense without a shot on goal in the first half.
Junior midfielder Molly Kinsella dominated the Commodores' offense in the first half with three of Vanderbilt's seven shots. It was a physical, foul-laden first half for each team, with 10 fouls combined for both teams.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second half. The physicality of the match continued throughout regulation with three yellow cards being given to Alabama's Rosaly Petriello and Vanderbilt's Megan Eddings and Molly Kinsella.
Vanderbilt's defensive prowess continued throughout the second half and overtime with Bachtel holding Alabama to a continued drought on shots on goal. This is Bachtel's fourth solo shutout of the season and the team's sixth.
"We had a big team meeting last night and we talked about refocusing," Woodard acknowledged. "We had some great performances today from players who usually come off the bench. Kate Goldin played her heart out today and she was fantastic today. She gave us solid defensive play."
Vanderbilt heads back to the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex to face Mississippi State on Thursday, October 22nd at 7 p.m.
"We've got to ride the momentum. We finally won on the road. We've got MSU at home and we've got to keep the energy going with a new opponent," Woodard stated.