Nashville, Tenn. -- Lydia Simmons scored a pair of goals as Vanderbilt grabbed a 3-0 lead and held on to down Furman, 3-2, in exhibition women's soccer action on Wednesday evening at the VU Soccer Complex in Nashville, Tenn.
Nia Dorsey put the Commodores in front with the lone goal of the first half at the 28:32 mark. Just 2:04 into the second half, Simmons converted from the penalty spot to double the Vanderbilt lead and extended the margin to 3-0 with her second goal of the night at 49:37.
Junior Stephanie Arrington trimmed the deficit to 3-1 and got Furman on the board with a goal in the 80th minute. Caitlyn Reilly headed the ball behind the Vanderbilt defense to Arrington and the forward beat the keeper one-versus-one to put the Paladins on the board. Senior and first team All-Southern Conference pick Rachel Shah pulled the Paladins within a goal at 82:28 with a driving shot past Vanderbilt's Taiana Tolleson after a long cross from Erin O'Hearn.
"It was an exhibition game so we weren't nearly as concerned about the score as we were building a team identity and creating team chemistry," said head coach Andrew Burr, following Wednesday's contest. "I believe 29 players got some playing time tonight and we definitely saw a lot of positive things for the first time out this preseason."
The Commodores, who compiled a 22-8 edge in total shots and 13-4 advantage in shots on goal, held on over the final seven minutes to claim the exhibition win.
Sophomore Kellsey Weaver stopped seven shots in goal for Furman in the preseason tune-up, while junior Allie Cutler turned away three shots in 40 minutes of play off of the bench.
Furman returns home to host Air Force in exhibition action at 11 a.m. on Saturday before entertaining USC Upstate in the regular season opener on Seagraves Field at Stone Soccer Stadium on August 18, at 7 p.m.
Tickets for every home Furman match are $5 and are available at the Stone Stadium gate beginning an hour prior to kickoff. Log onto www.FurmanPaladins.com for $20 season tickets (20 game vouchers).
Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information