ATHENS, Ga. – A goal by Georgia’s Ashley Miller in the second overtime at the 100:54 mark lifted the Bulldogs to a 2-1 win over Arkansas (9-2, 2-1) Friday night at the UGA Soccer Stadium. The loss snaps the Razorbacks’ eight-game winning streak. Arkansas got on the board with a goal by Sophie Wentz in the second half.“Obviously, this is a disappointing loss for us,” head coach Gordon Henderson said. “However, Georgia probably deserved to win the game tonight. That’s a very nice team Coach Baker has and they won, what in effect, was a must-win situation for their team.”Georgia (3-7-1, 1-1-1) opened the game playing the role of the aggressor, pressuring the Razorback backline and looking to push the ball early. In the first half, Arkansas was outshot, 7-1, and gave up five corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper Britni Williams was up to the task as she stopped all six shots on goal by the Bulldogs in the opening 45 minutes of play; she finished the game with eight saves, including a one-on-one stop against Georgia’s first-team All-SEC performer Carrie Patterson.The one-goal final difference was in complete contrast to the Bulldogs’ advantage in the box score. Georgia finished the game with an 18-5 advantage in shots and totaled 11 corner kicks. As the game wore on, Arkansas’ attack grew stronger, but couldn’t take full advantage of its opportunities.
“Stats can be deceiving as I felt we created some really good looks at goal,” Henderson said. “Our passing in the final third let us down a bit tonight.”
After a scoreless first half, the Razorbacks took the 1-0 lead on a goal by Wentz at the 57:49 mark. From midfield, Abbey Wilburn served a ball over the head of Georgia’s defense to a streaking Wentz. Georgia’s goalkeeper, Michelle Betos started to come out to make a run at the ball, but backed away as Wentz closed in on the ball. With the space left by Betos, Wentz flicked the ball over the keeper’s head and into the back of the net.
The assist by Wilburn was the 15th of her career, putting her into a tie for seventh place on Arkansas’ career list.
Just over a minute after taking the lead, the Razorbacks saw the score knotted up on a goal by Patterson which was set up by Miller. The 15-yard shot from Patterson beat a diving Williams to the left and found the gap between the post and Williams’ outstretched arms.
“We have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of,” Henderson said. “The only thing that disappoints me is after taking the lead, we gave up the tying goal so quickly and that’s not like us.”
After Patterson’s goal, both defenses tightened and shut down the opposing attacks and forced overtime, the second extra-time affair for Arkansas this season. The first overtime came and went without a goal from either team. There were just two shots between the conference foes in the first overtime.
Just 54 seconds in the second extra period, Miller found the back of the net for the Bulldog victory. After a foul on Arkansas, Georgia knocked a free kick into the box. After a couple of bounces and deflections in a crowd in front of the Razorback goal, Miller got a foot on the ball and scored the game winner. Bailey Powell was credited with the assist.
“It was a great college soccer game and the fans got their money’s worth,” Henderson said. “We had a lot of players see a lot of minutes tonight and we’re going to have to bounce back fast for a very good Tennessee team.”
Arkansas will conclude its weekend on the road with a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Lady Volunteers. The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. CT start from the pitch of the Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more news about Razorback soccer.