Sept. 7, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB women's soccer team defeated the Commodores of Vanderbilt, 2-1, in the Blazers' 2007 home opener Friday evening at West Campus Field. UAB's win over the Commodores was the second in the 11-game series, and the first since 2004.
Senior forward Sally Palmer got things started for UAB in the 13th minute of the game by sending a free kick from just outside the box into the back of the net to put the Blazers up, 1-0. A handful of saves by UAB goalkeeper Kate Blankenship to finish out the first half secured the Blazers' 1-0 lead going into halftime.
"I was pretty happy about how we came out in the first half," said UAB head coach Paul Harbin. "We settled into a rhythm where we were pretty organized defensively and had a nice continuous rhythm going in the attack.
"We possessed the ball well. We knocked it around, looked for openings and we were getting good combination off of each other."
Vanderbilt retaliated with a goal of its own during the 53rd minute when Megan Forester scored, with assists by Taylour Claxton and Meredith Kohn, to tie the game at one-all. Forester's goal was the first goal scored on UAB this season.
The two squads battled back-and-forth for over 20 minutes before UAB regained the lead when junior Nadine Liverpool put a shot in the top, left corner of the net in the 76th minute to give the Blazers the 2-1 edge and eventually the victory. Liverpool's goal was assisted by senior Jill Porto.
"We shifted to Vanderbilt's style late in the first half," said Harbin. "They are very good at what they do and we are not. I thought we had fixed some of those problems at halftime, but we didn't and we continued to be a bit disorganized and not very composed with the ball early in the second half.
"At the end of the day, we were able to make a few little changes and settle in during the last 20 minutes. We got back to the earlier rhythm. That goal from Nadine gave us a little bit of confidence back again and we were able to hang on."
Overall, Vanderbilt held a 21-10 advantage in shots, including eight shots on goal compared to UAB's six. The Commodores also led in corner kicks by a count of 8-2.
Porto led all Blazers in shots with five, including two shots on goal, followed by Liverpool with two. Palmer, sophomore Caitlin Marple and freshman Marie Yempuku all added one shot each.
Forester and Molly Kinsella tallied five goals each for Vanderbilt, while Kohn added three. Three additional Commodores had two shots each, while two more accounted for one shot a piece.
Blankenship (2-0-1) kept her undefeated record by grabbing seven saves for the Blazers. Rachel Bachtel received the loss for Vanderbilt by gathering three saves and allowing two goals on the night.
"I think we matched up well against Vanderbilt tonight," said Liverpool. "They are really fit, aggressive and strong, and so are we.
"We just need to take this win and use the momentum on Sunday against Ole Miss."
The Blazers will be back in action on Sunday afternoon when they take on Ole Miss at 3 p.m. at West Campus Field.