NORFOLK, Va. – Sophomore Christina Burger scored her fourth goal of the 2004 season on Sunday afternoon, but the effort was too little, too late for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team as it fell to the Old Dominion Monarchs in Norfolk, Va., 3-1.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 4-4-0 on the season while Old Dominion improves to 3-3-1 overall.
“This is part of the learning curve,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I was so impressed with the way that we played against an excellent side and tough wind in the first half, but we failed to play for 90 minutes.”
Arkansas’ lone tally came at the 86:31 mark when an Arkansas attack found the foot of Megan McCool on the right side of the penalty area. Taking a moment to asses her situation, McCool sent a skimming cross through the mixer that found the foot of Burger as she streaked toward the goal for Arkansas’ lone tally.
Perhaps it was the howling winds at their back, but the Monarchs dominated the pace of play in the first half. Despite that, it was the Lady Razorbacks who put together the best of the scoring chances. Countering an Old Dominion rush, the Lady Razorbacks flew down the right flank, causing the Monarchs to scramble. Unfortunately for the Lady’Backs an unlucky pass between defenders was hit a little harder allowing the Old Dominion goalkeeper to stop the attack before it became threatening.
In the 15th minute, old Dominion’s quick pace caught the Lady Razorbacks flat and a cross from the right side allowed an open shot from 12 yards, but sophomore goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver was there to smother the hard hit ball and keep the game scoreless. Dillsaver was huge throughout the contest for Arkansas, making several highlight reel saves to prevent any further damage including a pair of stops on point blank shots.
Old Dominion got on the scoreboard first in the 25th minute when a foul called just outside the penalty area gave the Monarchs a free kick. Arkansas built a six-person wall to counter the strike, but a quick touch by the Monarchs’ Elizabeth Gugliotti led to an open shot around the defense which Heather Vaughn knocked into the bottom right corner of the goal to give the home side the 1-0 advantage.
The Monarchs took a two-goal lead into the half when an Arkansas clear was caught up in the wind and fell to the feet of Old Dominion’s Lisa McKenzie. A quick pass to the middle of the park created a one-on-one with Dillsaver and despite her best efforts, she was unable to cover the far corner of the goal where Laura Beeman hit a strong shot.
“We literally made three mistakes in the first half,” Henderson said. “ODU, being the excellent side which they are, punished us on two of them. I know that I sound disappointed but that’s because I am. Especially to give up a goal 27 seconds into the second half when we have everything going in our favor, especially when we talked about it is nothing short of a team mental error.”
Old Dominion put the game away with their third tally which came from the right side again, but this time the cross went to the foot of Gugliotti who broke through Arkansas’ defense and created yet another one-vs.-one opportunity against Arkansas’ goal.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Friday night, September 24, when they begin Southeastern Conference play against the Vanderbilt Commodores at 7:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.