HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Freshman Sarah Gwisdala netted her first two career goals to lead the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team to a 4-0 victory over Grambling State University in Huntsville, Ala., on Friday evening.
The win evens Arkansas’ record at 3-3-0 while Grambling falls to 3-3-0.
“I think that it was an important win,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I was pleased with the win, I was pleased with the shutout and with the four goals. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game and I thought that this was a good game in that we were able to rest some of our starters and give the young freshman some playing time because we are going to need them as the season progresses.”
The Lady Razorbacks dominated the action early in the contest spending nearly every minute in Grambling’s half of the field, but the Tigers packed the penalty area and prevented the Lady Razorbacks from any real scoring opportunity. The Tigers mustered a small offensive 17 minutes into the game, but Arkansas’ defense was able to sort out any Grambling attack and diffused a two-minute attack allowing Arkansas to once again control the game.
Gwisdala put Arkansas on the scoreboard at 35:03 when a Lady Razorback attack down the left side of the field allowed her to take a 12-yard shot from the center of the penalty area. Sophomore Christina Burger sent a crisp pass from the outside across the Huntsville turf that found Gwisdala and after a pair of touches around a defender she found the left upper 90 for the game’s first and game-winning goal.
“It is encouraging to score four goals,” Henderson said. “Really from an offensive standpoint we need to make better use of the ball in the final third of the field. Like in any sport though, it is easier to fix the defense first. The offense requires a little more time.”
Arkansas would get on the board again eight minutes later when Burger would snag a goal of her own at 43:55. Using the same attack that gave them their first score, Arkansas came down the left middle of the field but this time it was sophomore defender Allison Harris who placed the ball on the goal-scorer’s foot and Burger quickly deposited the ball in the left side of the onion bag.
Holding a commanding 2-0 lead at the break, Arkansas was determined for more and they got just that at 67:29. After a weak Grambling shot was harnessed by sophomore goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver, she used a strong punt to put the ball past the midway line. After a bounce, freshman Carmen Davis ran under the high bounce and took one touch with her thigh to open up a one-vs.-one with the Grambling keeper. Dribbling right, Davis sent a shot to the left side of the goal to put the Lady Razorbacks up 3-0.
The goal is the first of Davis’ career and Dillsaver’s assist makes her just the second Arkansas Lady Razorback goalkeeper to record a point following in the footsteps of former teammate Lindsay Haywood who accomplished the task last season.
Arkansas’ final tally came in the closing moments of the contest when Gwisdala split a pair of Tiger defenders on a sweet pass from sophomore Kristie Holman. Again with a one-vs.-one opportunity, Arkansas’ forwards got the job done to finish the game off.
The Lady Razorbacks’ shutout is their third of the season equaling their mark from the entire 2003 season, but the blanking of the Tigers would not have been possible without the play of Dillsaver who was brilliant making three saves. With 10 minutes to play, Dillsaver deflected a rocket off the crossbar, but a Grambling player took the rebound and sent another shot into the goalmouth, but Arkansas’ keeper played the angle perfectly, stuffing the attempted goal and corralling the rebound.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they take on Southern University at noon. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.