LYNCHBURG, Va. – It wasn’t the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team’s night on Friday as they faced Liberty University amid wet field conditions in Lynchburg, Va., despite a dominating second half performance, the Lady Razorbacks could not overcome a pair of quick second-half scores by the Flames.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 2-4-0 on the season while Liberty improves to 2-2-2.
“I told the girls that this was unequivocally their best game of the year in terms of possession, energy, heart, opportunities created, shots on goal and I have to thank Liberty for bringing that out in us,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “The disappointing thing in that was the loss. For whatever reason, our finishing boots have left us the past two games. I’ve never been around a team that was so crushed by a loss and that is good because it shows that they care. Now we need to lift our spirits for Sunday’s game.”
The Flames came out with great intensity and took the game to the Lady Razorbacks who didn’t seem to have an answer to Liberty’s high intensity. The work rate of the Flames almost produced fantastic results as they got a great shot off in the early going forcing Lady Razorback goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver to make an acrobatic save and push the shot over the crossbar.
After Arkansas got into the pace of the match, it began to take the game back to Liberty and produce some shots of its own. Junior Christina Burger made a pair of fabulous runs straight through the Liberty defense that resulted in a shot wide and a save by the Flames. Despite the opportunities by both squads, the teams went into the locker room tied at 0-0.
Following the break, the Lady Razorbacks put quality pressure on the Liberty defense, but a Flames counter attack created a Liberty free kick from 25 yards. Taken by Alaina Hohnarth, she hit a laser on the restart that sailed just under the crossbar to make it a 1-0 Liberty advantage with 38 minutes to play.
Taking their level of play to another level, Liberty took advantage of a downtrodden Arkansas squad and made it a two-goal lead 10 minutes later. A Liberty corner kick was knocked straight into the air and then off a Liberty player’s head which then dinged off the crossbar. With Dillsaver down after the header, the Flame’s Hope West was able to knock the ball off her chest and into the net for the score.
With 20 minutes to play, Arkansas had a golden chance to make it a one-point contest when Abbey Wilburn struck a great ball from the right side that was only stopped thanks to an amazing diving save by the Liberty goalkeeper. The rebound from the save was corralled by Whitney Allison with a defender on her hip and after a strong turn toward goal she was unable to get her full power behind her shot and it was picked up before it could enter the goal.
Arkansas finally got on the board in the 95th minute when a Lady Razorback free kick was taken by Katie Stauffer at the center of the Liberty defensive half. Stauffer’s ball to the right side was touched by Christina Burger then left for Katie Taylor who hit an eight-yard shot into the net. The goal was too little too late for the Lady’Backs who dominated the statistics in the match, but failed to hit when it counted as they outshot Liberty, 21-7.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they host Southeastern Louisiana at Lady’Back Field in Fayetteville beginning at 1:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.