NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Mercer women's soccer team dropped its 2014 season opener to the Vanderbilt Commodores, 1-0, on Friday evening at the VU Soccer Complex.
Vanderbilt (1-0) scored on a penalty kick in the 67th minute, finding the back of the net for the only score of the evening. All told, the Commodores fired off 25 shots including eight on goal.
Facing a Southeastern Conference opponent in enemy territory, Mercer (0-1) managed to record only four shots and just one shot on goal. Senior Lauren Gassie led the Bears with three shots while senior Tess Patton added one of her own.
"In the first half we created three good chances, and they proved to be our best opportunities," said Mercer Head Coach Tony Economopolous. "When you play an SEC team, they're typically going to be a bit deeper than we will be. We got a little worn out as the game went on and I thought we attacked more in the first half and then defended in the second."
In the cage for the Bears junior Maggie Cropp made three saves in the first half, and later sophomore Christina Mursuli came in for the second stanza and recorded four saves of her own.
"For opening night it was a great atmosphere tonight in Nashville," continued Economopolous. "I was proud of our team. We came out, played toe-to-toe and I thought did a good job. I give credit to Vanderbilt for taking advantage of the opportunities they had."
The Bears continue their two-game road trip with a game on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Western Kentucky in Bowling Green. Mercer opens the home slate of its season on Friday, Aug. 29 against Gardner-Webb at 6 p.m. at Bear Field.