FAYETTEVILLE – Led by senior goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver who made eight saves, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team worked a 0-0 tie with the Auburn Tigers in Southeastern Conference women’s soccer action at Lady’Back Field in Sunday afternoon.
Playing in rain the entire 110 minutes, Arkansas and Auburn each had their chances to score, but neither team was able to sneak a shot past the opposing goalkeeper. The tie moves the Lady Razorbacks to 10-4-1 on the year and 3-2-1 in SEC play while Auburn goes to 9-3-3 overall and 3-2-3 in league action.
“It was certainly a game of ebbs and flows,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “They had some opportunities, then we had some opportunities, but at the end of the day, I think that this is a fair result. Getting four points on the weekend certainly helps us in the conference standings.”
An even game from the start, Auburn took control of the action 15 minutes in, but was unable to muster much of an attack on a well trained and seasoned Lady Razorback defense. Countering when they could, the Lady’Backs were able to take more shots than their opponent but solid goalkeeping by the Tigers Allison Whitworth kept Arkansas at bay.
Early in the second half, Arkansas faced the first of its two major scares on the day when a corner kick by the Tigers Gabi Rivera from the right side was sent near the back post. Auburn captain Ronda Brooks was able to get a foot on the cross and send a shot high toward goal, but junior defender Allison Harris was able to get her head on the ball at the goal line and keep the game scoreless. However, Harris’ header was not cleared out of the penalty area and a second Auburn shot came flying at the Arkansas net, but Dillsaver was able to pounce on it for one of her saves.
Perhaps Arkansas’ best scoring chance came late in the game when an errant Auburn pass was intercepted at the midfield by sophomore Abbey Wilburn. Wasting no time she immediately sent a pass into space between defenders where freshman Sophie Wentz charged after it. As Wentz came charging toward goal, Whitworth came out to play the ball and made a sliding save as Wentz made contact with the ball sending the Fayetteville native sprawling to the wet turf.
Dillsaver would come up big again with just 37 seconds left in the second overtime. Several Auburn passes penetrated the Lady Razorback defense giving Rivera a shot from the left side inside the six-yard box. As Dillsaver stepped out, Rivera attempted to chip the ball over Arkansas’ senior, but cat-like reflexes allowed her to get both hands up in the air and catch the ball clean from less than two yards.
Dillsaver’s shutout on Sunday afternoon is the 17th of her illustrious career and puts her just a half save behind the Arkansas school record of Molly Myers.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action next Friday night when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.