Vanderbilt Reaches Another SEC Semifinal
November 17, 2020
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Another day in Orange Beach, Alabama, another victory and another scoring barrage.
Vanderbilt found the back of the net four times Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament to beat Tennessee 4-2. The performance came two days after beating Mississippi State 4-0 in second-round action Tuesday.
The Commodores (6-4-0) advance to face either No. 14 LSU or No. 3 Texas A&M at 8:30 p.m. CT Thursday on the SEC Network. The trip to the semifinals gives Vanderbilt three appearances in the SEC's final four over last four seasons.
For the fourth consecutive game, Vanderbilt scored inside the first 10 minutes when Maddie Elwell scored her second goal in as many games. Chasing a cross into the penalty area, Elwell fought for the free ball and earned a wide-open chance she didn't miss, putting a left-footed shot home.
Doubling the lead less than 10 minutes later, Myra Konte fired a shot into the box off a corner kick. With Konte's shot deflected, the ball fell to the foot of Leila Azari who poked it home making to double the lead.
Up 2-1 early in the second half, Vanderbilt again forced pressure and drew a pivotal penalty kick. Olivia Simmons’ long throw into the box from the right sideline was intended for Haley Hopkins – but Hopkins was bowled over to give Vanderbilt a penalty kick. Stepping up to take the penalty in the 58th minute, Kimya Raietparvar stepped to the spot and calmly put her shot into the lower left corner of the net to score her first-career goal and make it 3-1.
In the 72nd minute, Vandy keeper Sarah Fuller sent a long ball from the defending side of midfield toward goal. Reagan Kelley craftily tracked it down and toe-tapped a right-footed shot into goal making it 4-1.
Though Tennessee pulled one back in the closing minutes, that would be all Vandy needed.
With two wins at this year's tournament, it marks the first time Vanderbilt has won a pair of games at an SEC Tournament since the 1998 season. That season marks the last time the Commodores reached the SEC championship game.
With the four goals, Vanderbilt has now scored four goals in back-to-back games against SEC competition for the first time under Darren Ambrose. Last time Vanderbilt posted an offensive barrage like this was in 2013 when it scored four against Arkansas and five against Mississippi State across a three-day span.
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