NASHVILLE - The Commodore women's soccer team's postseason hopes were dashed Sunday with a 2-1 home loss to Mississippi State.
Vanderbilt needed two victories and some help in the last week of the regular season to earn a top eight seed and be invited to the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Sunday's loss keeps the Commodores in 11th place in the league and mathematically out of contention for a trip to Orange Beach, Ala.
Vanderbilt controlled the run of play throughout most of the game, holding a 19-11 overall advantage in shots on goal. But seven saves by MSU's Skylar Rosson and a little help kept the Commodores at bay.
In the seventh minute, a cross from Candace West found Dana Schwartz open on the near side of the six-yard box, but her header went screaming past the post. In the 18th minute, Gena Inbusch smashed a volley from 12 yards out that was headed off the line by MSU defender Shannen Jainudeen. West also would hit the post in the 42nd minute on VU's eighth shot of the first half.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the 10th minute of the game when a pass from Jasmine Simmons put Elisabeth Sullivan behind the VU defense. Sullivan made a touch to the right to get around VU goalkeeper Brittanie Barbero and finished with a low shot toward the far post for a 1-0 MSU lead.
In the 31st minute, the Bulldogs drew a VU foul on the left side of the field just 24 yards away from the Commodore goal. Simmons stepped up to take the free kick, rocketing it over the VU wall and inside the near post on one hop.
The Commodores finally broke through in the 55th minute when junior Dana Schwartz scored her third goal of the season. About eight yards out from the right side, Schwartz fired a shot toward the back post that took a deflection and went in to bring Vanderbilt within a goal at 2-1.
Vanderbilt would get nine more shots off in the contest, the best chance coming when West freed up Ashley Oswald on the left side in the 86th minute but Rosson barely got a touch on Oswald's shot to divert it around the near post.
The Commodores will play their final match of the 2011 season this Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. CT when Kentucky visits the VU Soccer Complex. Prior to the match, Vanderbilt will honor its graduating senior class of West, Emily Grant, Elizabeth Lillie and Bridget Lohmuller.