July 8, 2011
NASHVILLE - Twelve home games and a total of six contests against teams that advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament highlight Vanderbilt's 2011 women's soccer schedule, officials announced Friday.
The Commodores will open the season on Sunday, August 21 against Furman, the first of three home contests to open the year. Following an appearance at the 2011 University of South Florida Tournament, Vanderbilt will return home to play three more non-conference games before opening Southeastern Conference play on the fourth weekend of September.
"The fall schedule will prove to be a great challenge for our young team," VU Head Coach Ronnie Woodard said. "We have three non-conference games against opponents who participated in the NCAA Tournament last season, and those early challenges should help us prepare for a rigorous SEC schedule. Our team will be well-prepared to compete for an SEC championship and a return to the NCAA Tournament."
Vanderbilt will play five NCAA Tournament teams in September alone, with road contests against South Florida, Auburn and Florida and home matches against in-state rivals MTSU and Memphis. October opens with a road contest at South Carolina before finishing with six of seven games at home.
The Commodores will host home SEC matches against LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Kentucky. The 2011 Southeastern Conference Tournament returns to Orange Beach, Ala., this year, Nov. 2-6. The NCAA Tournament kicks off the following weekend, culminating with the 2011 NCAA Women's College Cup at KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.
Last season, Vanderbilt compiled an 8-10-2 record en route to an appearance in the SEC Tournament. The eighth seeded Commodores were tied 3-3 with top seeded Florida in the 83rd minute before a pair of UF goals helped the Gators advance.
Senior Candace West is the Commodores' top returning scorer after notching five goals last season. Three key starters return on the defensive line in senior Bridget Lohmuller, junior Kate Goldin and sophomore Claire Romaine. Their experience will be key in front of a new goalkeeper following the graduation of four-year starter Rachel Bachtel.