GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Freshman Alison Harter scored in the 77th minute for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team, but despite a tremendous effort in the final moments of the contest, the Lady Razorbacks fell to the 25th-ranked University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., in Southeastern Conference action on Sunday afternoon 2-1.
“This was a very good performance,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “This is a tough place to pick up a win and I thought that we did a good job of frustrating Florida today. It was a very good performance against a very good team.”
Down 2-0, Arkansas began to push players forward in order to pressure the Gator defense, a tactic that worked to perfection on Arkansas’ goal. After a miscue by the Florida defense, Harter found herself behind the entire Florida team with an open net and deposited the ball into the goal to make it a one-goal game. Harter’s goal is the second of her career and first in SEC play.
The Lady Razorbacks played tough defense in the opening half keeping the Gators off the scoreboard despite eight first-half shots. Arkansas goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver came up with a massive save when a 20-yard shot from the center of the goal headed toward the left corner, but using the full extension of her 5 foot, seven inch frame, Dillsaver was able to dive and stop the shot without allowing a rebound to keep the game scoreless.
After a frustrating first half for the Gators, they took the lead in the contest in the 51st minute when an Ashley Kellgren Shot from the right side caught the entire Lady’Back squad off guard. As Dillsaver came to the short side to make the save, she caught the ball, but not before it crossed the goal line for the game’s first score. 2003 SEC Player of the Year Stephanie Freeman was credited with the assist.
Florida scored its second goal in the 75th minute when the Gators took a short corner kick before sending a cross to the mixer where it was headed by a pair of Florida players after Dillsaver got her hands on it to punch it away. The headers moved the ball closer to the net where it flew into the upper 90 to make it a 2-0 game.
“This team believes that it can keep most schools off the scoreboard,” Henderson said. “You cannot fault the way this team fought back. They remained organized against a team with superior speed. It is a pleasure for us to go into the last game of the season with everything to play for.”
Arkansas’ loss drops its record to 6-10-2 on the season and 2-6-2 in SEC action while Florida improves to 12-3-3 and 6-2-2 in conference play. While Arkansas’ loss does not help it in its effort to make the SEC Tournament, it does not hurt. An Arkansas victory against LSU next Friday night along with a Kentucky loss at Vanderbilt could propel the Lady’Backs to the tournament for the first time in three seasons.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action next Friday evening for their season finale against the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, La. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.