FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas soccer team lost to Alabama, 3-1, in its conference home opener Friday evening at Razorback Field. The Razorbacks got an early goal from Lindsay Patterson, but three second-half goals by the Crimson Tide (8-4-1, 3-2-0) sealed the win for the visitors and sent Arkansas (9-4-0, 2-3-0) to its third consecutive loss.
“Obviously, this is a disappointing loss,” head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I thought we came out playing well and scored a good goal early on, but Alabama looked dangerous on the counter all night.”
It didn’t take long for the Razorbacks to light up the scoreboard as Patterson knocked in a header from six yards out to give the home team the 1-0 lead at the 4:19 mark. After an Alabama foul, defender Lauren Hallauer served a ball into the box from 30 yards out that connected with Patterson who elevated to put the ball past Crimson Tide goalkeeper Kara Gudmens. It was the sixth goal of the season for the Razorback senior and Hallauer’s second assist.
Arkansas continued to apply the pressure throughout the first half of play, outshooting its opponent, 8-4. Gudmens totaled five saves in the first half, including a diving stop on another Patterson shot. Sophomore forward Kelly O’Connor tallied four shots, two on goal, during the first-half barrage.
“I was always confident we would get that second goal to give us the two-goal cushion,” Henderson said. “We had numerous opportunities, but didn’t take advantage of them. At the end of the day, that came back to bite us.”
The Razorbacks went into halftime with the one-goal lead, but a foul early in the second half led to an Alabama penalty kick. Rosaly Petriello lined up for the shot and tucked the ball into the lower left corner past Arkansas keeper Britni Williams to even the score at the 52:29 mark.
“There was a huge momentum shift with the penalty kick,” Henderson said. “I think that gave Alabama some life and all credit to them. They were the better team in that second half.”
Alabama put the game away with a pair of goals scored within two minutes of one another later in the half.
Crimson Tide leading goal scorer Kailey Corken put her team on top for good with her sixth goal of the season at the 60:23 mark. Brooke Rogers began the play by breaking into the box to the right of Williams and firing a shot that the Arkansas keeper knocked away, but Corken was there for the rebound to give Alabama the 2-1 lead.
Rogers scored a goal of her own off a pass from Victoria Frederick at the 61:44 mark. It was Rogers’ second goal of the season.
The loss marks just the second home defeat on the season for Arkansas and its first loss in Fayetteville to the Crimson Tide since the 2004 season. Arkansas will make the quick turnaround with a Sunday contest against Auburn at Razorback Field. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for continued coverage of UA soccer.