COLUMBIA, S.C. – The glitz and glamour of television did little to change the hard luck experienced by the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team as the Lady’Backs fell to the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C. on Sunday afternoon, 1-0.
The Lady Razorbacks fought valiantly for 90 minutes in the match but one slip in the action gave the Gamecocks the one and only opening they needed to hand Arkansas its sixth consecutive loss.
“We gave it our best shot today,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “We played a very good side in South Carolina today and we wish them success in the SEC tournament. We just didn’t have enough going forward today.”
Arkansas and South Carolina played a scoreless first half, but the absence of scoring was not due to a lack of opportunities. Both sides were able to create on the offensive end with Carolina getting the majority of the shots. On one occasion, the Gamecocks Darcel Mollon, streaked past the Arkansas defense to create a 1-v-1 with Arkansas goalkeeper Britni Williams. Mollon would take a 12-yard shot aimed at the far post which would get past Williams but her aim was just off as it pinged off the post and was cleared by the Lady’Back defense.
For the Lady Razorbacks, their best chance in the opening 45 minutes came mid-way through the half when an Arkansas counter attack gave the Lady’Backs numbers in the South Carolina end of the field. Freshman Rachel Carlson carried the ball into the left corner and sent a high cross into the six-yard box that Lindsay Patterson was able to get a glancing blow on with her head, but the South Carolina goalkeeper was able to punch out of the box.
Arkansas would come out of the locker room and apply a bit more pressure on the Gamecocks in the second half, but the numbers forward would be just the opening that South Carolina would need. With space in front of the Arkansas goal opened up, the Gamecocks would feed the ball over the top of the Lady Razorback defense and to the feet of Brooke Jacobs who would strike a ball from just inside the left corner of the penalty area that eluded a diving Williams and give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead.
The Lady’Backs would come back with a good opportunity of their own just minutes later, even though it would not show up on the statistics. A free kick by the Lady Razorbacks’ Rachel Smith just inside the center circle was sent into the six-yard box where Ali Harter would run onto it. Taking it on a bounce, Harter would play it off her chest before she ran out of real estate and the South Carolina goalkeeper would pick it out of the air.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 8-10-1 overall and 1-8-1 in SEC play while South Carolina improves to 13-4-2 and 5-3-2 in conference action. The Lady Razorbacks conclude their 2007 season next Friday night when they host Louisiana State on Senior Night at Lady’Back Field. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.