FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two first-half goals by Kim Miller gave South Carolina an early advantage, and despite a second-half push, Arkansas dropped a 3-1 decision Sunday to the Gamecocks at Razorback Field. Kailey Anders scored in the 56th minute to cut the lead in half, but South Carolina tacked on a third goal to secure the victory. Before the game, Arkansas (11-7-0, 4-6-0) recognized its graduating players during a Senior Day ceremony.
“I don’t think this was indicative of how we’ve played this season,” head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I think we lacked composure today and found it tough to pass the ball, and a lot of that is a credit to our opponent. I think (South Carolina) played well defensively and they are well-balanced.”
Miller notched the first goal of the game with a 15-yard free kick at the 14:54 mark. The junior midfielder lined up wide right and knocked the ball to the high back post to give South Carolina the 1-0 lead. Miller struck again when her corner kick crossed the front of the net and tucked into the back corner at the 36:35 mark.
“The wind played a factor today with them having the wind in the first half,” Henderson said. “We struggled against that. We gave up two goals that the wind played a part in, but never the less that gave them a nice lead going into the half. That forced us to do something we’re not really comfortable doing in trying to chase the game, but we did it and got ourselves back on the board. However, as you push up in games, sometimes you’ll give up space and on their third goal, (Brooke Jacobs) was wide open in the box and she finished it well.”
Still looking for its first goal, Arkansas found it off the foot of Anders. The freshman forward fired a shot from 25 yards out front and deposited the ball over the outstretched arms of South Carolina goalkeeper Mollie Patton. The score came at the 55:52 mark. It was the first goal of Anders’ collegiate career.
South Carolina (11-4-4, 5-3-2) responded in the 77th minute with a goal from Brooke Jacobs. The play was set up by Shannon Bigbie who found Jacobs streaking into the box from the right. The sophomore forward put the ball past Arkansas goalkeeper Britni Williams for the Gamecocks’ third score.
With an SEC Tournament berth up in the air, the Razorbacks continued to fight and nearly cut the lead to one when Camille Flores crossed a ball to Lindsay Patterson who elevated to head the ball toward the goal. However, Patton stood her ground to snag the six-yard shot.
“Overall, on this day, South Carolina played a better game than we did,” Henderson said. “They played a more consistent game from the start of the game to the end of the game. I can’t help but wonder if the occasion got the better of us today. We’re going to have to dust this one off and go down to LSU and find a way to get a win.”
The Razorbacks will travel to Baton Rouge, La., to play the LSU Tigers in the Oct. 31 season finale. Arkansas will be looking for its first win against its SEC West counterpart since the 2003 season. For more information and continued coverage of UA soccer, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.