FAYETTEVILLE – Misfortune midway through the second half prevented the University of Arkansas soccer team from pulling off a tremendous upset of 21st-ranked Georgia at Lady’Back Field on Friday night, as the Lady Razorbacks fell, 1-0.
Arkansas’ loss drops it to 8-4-0 on the year and 1-2-0 in Southeastern Conference play while Georgia improves to 10-1-0 overall and 3-0-0 in conference action.
“Sports are funny sometimes,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I thought that we created better chances throughout the game and one error in defense cost us the game. I couldn’t be happier with the quality of play that we showed throughout the contest. I think that the first 10-15 minutes we controlled the game and that we did a good job in the second half of taking the ball to the goal.”
The Lady Razorbacks had all sorts of chances in the second half and if it were not for the heroics of Georgia goalkeeper Michelle Betos, the final outcome could have been much different. On one Arkansas attack, freshman Camille Flores drove down the right side of the 18-yard box at goal and hit a good shot that Betos snared from less than 10 yards away. Another Arkansas attack saw a back pass to freshman Sam Bolton who struck a great shot that would have found the back of the net had Betos not put her hand in the air and knocked it over the crossbar.
Arkansas was flying all over the field throughout the night creating and using tremendous touch. Arkansas’ pace along with Georgia’s speed throughout the field made for an exciting match on both sides of the ball. Several Arkansas scoring chances were thwarted at the last moment by Georgia’s backs while Georgia was forced to attack mainly from the outside thanks to the Lady’Backs’ stout back line.
The eventual game winning strike came in the 66th minute when Georgia’s Danielle Abelson took one of the Bulldogs outside shots. A knuckler from 35 yards, the ball skipped off the turf around the six-yard box and caught Lady Razorback goalkeeper Britni Williams flatfooted and snuck past the freshman and into the net. A stunned Lady Razorback team and crowd stood in disbelief as Georgia celebrated their bit of good fortune.
Unwilling to concede home field on that goal, the Lady Razorbacks pounded the Georgia defense for the final 26 minutes and despite some of their brilliant strikes, were unable to solve Betos and the Bulldog defense for an equalizer.
Things don’t get any easier for the Lady Razorbacks as they host the sixth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols at Lady’Back Field on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.com