NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Haley Hopkins’s goal in the 78th minute was a memorable comeback and a 3-2 victory for Vanderbilt over Kentucky on Sunday at the Vanderbilt Soccer / Lacrosse Complex.
The Commodores (1-0, 1-0 SEC) fell 2-0 in between, then scored three goals in the second half to open the season. Hopkins’s two points from Blue Ellis sandwiched the game’s balance point.
With the match tied at 2-2, Olivia Simmons owned the Kentucky box. Seeing that she had nowhere to go, she threw the ball to Leila Azari on the right side of the cross that sent a cross.
Hopkins was on the other side and climbed on top of his defender to throw the ball head behind the net.
Vanderbilt will stay in the state this week when he travels to Tennessee (0-1, 0-1) for a match 1 p.m.
The Commodores had their first real chance of scoring in the game in the eighth minute when Hopkins played a short cross for Alex Kerr whose shot was saved by Kentucky defender Brooke Littman’s right foot.
The Wildcats saw the first back of the net when midfielder Vandy Sophie Guilmette came out of line when Jordyn Rhodes found a possession and scored in the back of the net.
One minute later Rhodes took a long ball from Marissa Bosco and landed on the left side, Guilmette and his finger threw home his second goal of the day and he made it 2-0.
Vandy started on the pitch in the second half and in the 51st minute Kimya Raietparvar fired a free kick from around the field and fired a shot from the crossbar.
Hopkins then made a dentist thanks to a long ball in the box from Amber Nguyen. Hopkins took control, turned around and he dropped out of his 28th career to cut the Commodores deficit in half with 37 points per game.
Ellis’ balance came in the 58th minute. Madia Harriott scored a goal in the middle of the field and landed on the right side of the field. She played a ball for Ellis who was involved with her left foot and she made it 2-2.
That’s where the points stay until Hopkins wins.
Vandy’s defense tightened in the second half and the Wildcats (0-1, 0-1) fired just one shot. Kentucky also lost a corner.