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Hopkins' brace sends Vandy to semifinals

1121 days ago
Vanderbilt Athletics
Photo: Vanderbilt Athletics

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - Vanderbilt advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Women's Soccer Tournament after defeating Alabama, 2-1, on Tuesday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

The second-seeded Commodores (14-4-1, 6-3-1) produced the same result in a rematch of the last women's soccer regular season game on Oct. 31 against seventh-seeded Alabama (10-7-3, 4-4-2).

Vanderbilt will face the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between South Carolina and Georgia on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT slated for the SEC Network.

The Commodores got on the board first after earning their second corner of the day in the 13th minute. Maddie Elwell took it from the left side of the field and delivered a perfect cross to the front of the goal.

Haley Hopkins beat the Alabama goalkeeper to the spot and headed in Vandy's first goal of the game.

Elwell notched her team-high 10th assist of the season and has recorded an assist in four of Vanderbilt's last five games.

Hopkins' second goal late in the second half proved to be the deciding factor in the match. She recorded her eighth-career brace and fourth this season. After a Taiana Tolleson goal kick was launched downfield, Hopkins beat an Alabama defender and broke away on a fast break opportunity.

All that was left was the goalkeeper and Hopkins won the one-on-one matchup to deliver a goal into the empty net.

Hopkins leads the team with 13 goals this season and recorded her sixth game-winner of the season, breaking the Vanderbilt record she set in 2018.

Vanderbilt has won three straight games and are winners of four of its last five games. This is also the second time Vanderbilt has advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament under head coach Darren Ambrose (2017).