FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Lindsay Patterson scored her sixth goal of the season to give the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team one of its greatest results in school history, a 1-1 tie with sixth-ranked Tennessee in Southeastern Conference action at Lady’Back Field on Sunday afternoon.
The result for Arkansas moves it to 8-4-1 on the year and 1-2-1 in conference action while Tennessee falls to 7-2-2 overall and 2-1-1 in league play. Arkansas’ tie is also its first result against a ranked opponent since it defeated SMU at Lady’Back Field, 2-0, on Sept. 19, 1993. Since that match, Arkansas had been 0-10-0 against ranked opponents.
“I’m not quite sure if I am more frustrated or proud of our players,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “We have a bunch of players who are either hurt or sick, but what really showed today was the heart of this team. This team really feels that it could be 4-0 in SEC play, but we’ll need to get healthy in a hurry if we are to keep it up. As for the game it was an amazing effort. Ultimately, this was a team effort and you couldn’t ask for a better result against the number six team in the nation.”
On a day that was much hotter than anticipated, both squads came out flying all over the field. Strong defensive stands by both squads kept the majority of play in the midfield with long shots being the call of the day. Tennessee would get the upper hand in the action midway through the half and capitalize to take an early 1-0 lead. On the play a long shot by the Lady Vols’ Kylee Rossi was saved by Arkansas goalkeeper Britni Williams, but she was unable to hold on to the ball and the rebound was put into an open net by Emily Redberg.
The goal by Tennessee was the first goal that Arkansas has allowed in the first half this season and would be the last time that Williams failed to hang onto a shot or cross the rest of the day. Following the Tennessee goal, Williams would make a majority of her eight saves including several game-saving stops late in the game.
Down at the half for the first time this season, the Arkansas locker room was very upbeat despite the score. The enthusiasm from the air conditioning carried over well to the field as Arkansas played toe-to-toe with Tennessee over the final 65 minutes. The Lady Razorbacks would pick up the game-tying score in the 69th minute when an attack deep into Tennessee territory would provide the score.
A key substitution by Henderson put freshman Ally Atkins into the contest with 30 minutes to play and not long after she would find herself along the goal line with a defender on her. Keeping her composure on the ball, Atkins sent a cross just outside the six-yard box where Patterson was able to one-touch into right side of the goal for the equalizer.
The Lady Vols would control much of the tempo and take most of the shots in the overtime periods, but would not be able to connect thanks to the play of Arkansas’ defense and Williams who came up big play-after-play.
The Lady Razorbacks head to the road next weekend when they travel to Alabama for games against Auburn and Alabama. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.