TULSA, Okla. – Sophomore goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver made four saves for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team, but numerous missed opportunities throughout the contest proved to be the demise as Arkansas fell to the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday evening, 1-0.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 2-3-0 on the season while Oral Roberts improves to 4-1-0.
“I was a little nervous coming into this game,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “Oral Roberts is a tough team at home and I felt that we came out a little sluggish and stagnant, which could be the result of three games in five days.”
The Lady Razorbacks fell behind late in the first half when an Oral Roberts attack down the right side produced the game’s first goal. Nicole Bucelluni streaked down the right side and took a long pass into space then after a long touch sent a cross to Jessica Kellogg at the top of the box. Two touches and a turn to her left and Kellogg launched a shot into the far side of the goal to make the game 1-0 at 30:00.
Arkansas survived a scare late in the first when the first corner kick of the day for the Golden Eagles created another scoring opportunity. Played into the far post, it was headed by an Oral Roberts player toward the net, but junior defender Andrea Sparks guarded the post and knocked the ball clear of the goal to keep it a one-goal game.
The Lady Razorbacks dominated the beginning of second half creating numerous opportunities on face, but several Arkansas shots that sailed wide and a staunch Golden Eagle defense kept Arkansas off the board. Playing with urgency throughout the final 45 minutes of action, the Lady Razorbacks outshot their opponents 10-3, but failed to produce the equalizer despite five shots on face.
“I felt that the second half was absolutely superb,” Henderson said. “As a coach you want the team to succeed and I felt that we deserved the win after the way we played over the final 45 minutes. Oral Roberts did exactly what I would have done which is defend the goal after getting the lead. It is a bitter pill to swallow when you make one error and your opponent scores on it.”
Dillsaver came up with another tremendous save midway through the second period when an Oral Roberts counter allowed an 18-yard shot from the right side. The long shot was headed toward the far post but Arkansas’ sophomore goalkeeper leapt high in the air to snag the shot out of the air.
With just under nine minutes left in the contest, Arkansas senior Jenni Brashear looked as if she might score the equalizer as she dribbled through the Oral Roberts defense, but moments before she could unload a quality shot, a Golden Eagle defender came out of nowhere to put a foot on the ball and send it flying away from net.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Friday evening when they travel to Huntsville, Ala., to take on Grambling University at 4:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.