NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Arkansas scored a goal in each half and claimed a 2-0 Southeastern Conference soccer victory at Vanderbilt on Friday.
With the win, Arkansas improved to 7-3-3 overall and 1-3-1 in the SEC. The loss dropped Vanderbilt to 7-5-1 overall and 1-4-0 in the SEC. The loss was just the second in nine games at home this year for the Commodores.
“We’re really happy with the result,” head coach Erin Aubry said. “The one thing we talked about in pre-game was making sure we understood that we are far better than the results we’ve been getting. We told them we need to play up to that level, and instead of just settling for being good, we need to strive to be great. That was the difference tonight.”
Ally Atkins, Sophie Wentz and Chelsea Tidwell came off the bench to spark the Razorbacks in the first half and it carried over into the second half with other bench contributions from Rachel Carlson, Erin Moskos and Kat Moffett.
Wentz led Atkins with a nice pass inside the 18 for a first-half shot attempt that was just off the mark, but the play ignited the Razorbacks and led to more offensive pressure on the Vanderbilt defense.
At the 36:32 mark, Wentz fired a shot from outside the box which was just under the crossbar and out of the reach of keeper Rachel Bachtel for a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Vanderbilt got off a pair of shots within the first four minutes, but Arkansas took over from there.
Arkansas took 15 shots in the second half and at the 63:27-minute mark, Allie Chandler all but locked up the victory by spinning away from a pair of defenders in the right corner and firing an unassisted shot into the left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
“The two goals we scored were just fantastic individual efforts by big-time players and that’s what we have to have,” Aubry said. “There’s no doubt it was a total team effort. Our bench was huge and was a spark for sure.”
The goal for Wentz was her third of the season and the eighth of her career. Chandler scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season while Tidwell’s assist was the first of her career.
For the game, Arkansas out-shot Vanderbilt 20-18, including a 15-11 advantage in the second half after the Commodores had a 7-5 advantage in the first period. VU had 10 shots on goal while Arkansas had nine.
Keeper Britni Williams had 10 saves and recorded the 25th win over her career to give her sole possession of second place on Arkansas’ chart. Carrie Dillsaver is the leader with 28 from 2003-06. Williams also extended her school record for shutouts to 20 and she now has 220 saves, which is sixth on the school’s career list.
“There are still some things we need to work on,” Aubry said. “We had a lot of services that came across the box and we weren’t committed or courageous enough to go get them. We need to make sure we do that and tighten up our defense.”
Arkansas continues its road trip with Sunday’s noon contest at Kentucky.
The Razorbacks are home next week for matches against Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
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