FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Christina Burger put in a rebound with 17 minutes to play to lift the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team to a 1-0 victory against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Lady’Back Field on Friday night to give Arkansas’ its first Southeastern Conference win of the season.
The win improves the Lady Razorbacks to 4-6-0 on the season and 1-2-0 in SEC play while Mississippi State falls to 1-6-3 overall and 0-3-0 in conference action.
“Its nice to get the weight off our shoulders,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I’m very pleased with the way that we controlled the action for a large part of the game. Mississippi State is very organized in the back and we had a hard time figuring out how to break them down.”
The Lady Razorbacks nearly went into the locker rooms at the break with a one-goal lead, but an outstanding save by the Bulldogs Emily Myers kept the score tied at one. On the play Arkansas attacked the left side and had Abbey Wilburn streaking to the near post. Taking a shot from the edge of the six-yard box, Wilburn aimed for the far post, beating Myers momentarily, but a diving effort allowed her to get her fingers on the ball and knock it past the goal and out of bounds for a corner kick.
“That was a superb save,” said Henderson. “If we get that goal, there is no telling what happens, but that kept Mississippi State in the game.”
Both teams made tremendous efforts throughout the contest with Arkansas not getting the upper hand until 73:13 when Wilburn made the most of another opportunity. Once again attacking the left side of the Bulldog defense, Wilburn took a 15-yard shot along the turf that Myers went to catch with a forward dive. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the ball skipped out of Myers hands and bounced wide where Burger was able to tap in a three-yard shot uncontested. The goal is Burger’s fourth of the season and puts her over 10 points for the third consecutive season making her just the second Lady Razorback in school history to accomplish the task.
In goal for the Lady Razorbacks, senior Carrie Dillsaver made three saves to pick up her second shutout of the season. Her victory puts her in a tie for fourth all-time for Lady Razorback goalkeepers and the shutout moves her one closer to second place in Arkansas lore.
While Arkansas maintained most of the possession late in each half, Mississippi State was the catalyst of the action early in periods. Putting lots of pressure on the Arkansas defense, the Bulldogs were able to match the Lady Razorbacks in shots as both teams had 15, but the Lady Razorbacks had the advantage in shots on face 9-3. Arkansas also ted the corner kick battle 8-3.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when the University of Mississippi come to Lady’Back Field for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.