FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas pushed top-ranked Florida State to the limit and allowed just one goal while missing on a few scoring opportunities in a 1-0 loss to the Seminoles at Razorback Field on Sunday.
Arkansas was playing a No. 1-ranked team for the first time in program history. FSU (6-0-0), which has the top spot in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire poll, scored at the 16:11 mark and that’s the only goal the Seminoles needed.
The Razorbacks generated several scoring chances and just missed on tying or possibly taking the lead.
Head coach Colby Hale was pleased with his team’s effort, but he wants the Razorbacks to finish those opportunities.
"We can’t just play hard and be happy," he said. "Yes, we played hard, but we still lost. We have to keep growing and concentrate on the little things. You can see the chances for goals happening, but we have to put them in."
A few chances were sprinkled throughout the second half. At the 52-minute mark, Allie Chandler got inside the box and beat her defender for a one-on-one with keeper Kelsey Wys. Chandler’s shot went wide right from 10 yards out.
At the 67-minute mark, Alex Starrett dribbled down the right side and drew Wys out from the net. Her shot from the right side at the left post went wide left.
At the 91-minute mark, Tyler Allen took a hard shot from the top of the 16, but it bounced off a defender for a team save. With less than two minutes to play, Allen played a corner kick into the box from the far side, and Allie Tripp’s header went left.
"I feel like we played well against a really good team," defender Kaylyn Cooper said. "We are growing and this helps us for the start of Southeastern Conference play."
For the game, Florida State had a 19-8 advantage in shots with a 7-2 lead in shots on goal. FSU had a 9-3 shot advantage in the first half and a 10-5 lead in the second.
Arkansas keeper Kelly Roliard had five saves.
Chandler led the Razorbacks with two shots, and she and Teni Butler had shots on goal.
"We are going to see talent like this in the SEC," Tripp said. "We played well, but we had a few mistakes and we can fix them."
FSU’s score came at 16:11 when Tiffany McCarty battled for a loose ball and knocked it in from five yards in front of goal. Jamia Fields passed inside to McCarty at the right post, who got tangled up with a couple of Razorbacks, but she dug the ball out and shot into the center of the net.
"A lack of communication is one of the things that hurt us and it cost us on their goal," Hale said. "When we start doing the little things, we’ll wins games."
Arkansas opens Southeastern Conference play next week. The Razorbacks are on the road for two, at Ole Miss on Friday and at Georgia on Sunday. Arkansas returns home the following week, hosting Kentucky and South Carolina.
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